Disaster in Japan hits South Florida auto industry

Japan's major earthquake and the tsunami that followed continue to create a ripple effect on the world's auto industry.

Toyota said some parts won't be available for up to eight months.

Longtime South Florida mechanic Doug Parlamento is bracing for an aftershock.

"Like nature, once the earthquake has happened the tsunami is yet to come," said Parlamento. The West Palm Beach shop owner says so far so good, but he anticipates Japan's massive disruption is about to limit some of his work.

"In a business like this you can't just sit back and panic, you may want to find other ways, you may hope a manufacturer could step up and produce that part," he said.

Earl Stewart wants Toyota drivers to know repairs at the dealership won't be affected, but buying a car might be. "The parts that are being affected are only for the assembly line, in other words, it's affecting car production, we have no shortage for parts for repair," explained the owner of Earl Stewart Toyota in Lake Park.

"The only thing is if you're in the process of buying a car from now through summer, certain models will be in shortage," he said. Part production for Toyota is now at just 30% in the U.S., 50% in Japan.


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