RESEARCH: Little impact on supply of parts, paint from Japan disaster

Six months after the devastating earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, fueling concerns about shortages of replacement parts and other issues for the U.S. collision repair industry, there’s little indication any of those problems materialized.
As it did last spring, CCC Information Services recently analyzed its data for the average number of days it took from parts being ordered to being received, and it saw no significant changes for the Japanese makes.
“From everything I’ve seen and read, none of the automakers or their dealers experienced any significant (parts) disruptions, even on a small scale fashion,” CCC’s Susanna Gotsch said.
Used car pricing, already strong before the quake, had a small but only short-lived uptick in late spring amid real or perceived shortages of new cars. Gotsch said total loss frequency in the second and third quarter of this year was basically unchanged.
The heavily-damaged factory in Japan that was one of the only sources of a pigment used in many black, gray and red metallic automotive paints was back up and running sooner than expected, and some paint manufacturers found an alternative pigment as well.
“We expect a stable supply because a second production location is coming online in Europe,” said BASF’s Joe Skurka, who like other paint company representatives, said collision repairers saw virtually no disruption in supply.