Carmakers to switch output to weekends

Kyodo

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Automakers will run factories on Saturdays and Sundays and halt them on Thursdays and Fridays from July to September to counter anticipated electricity shortages.

The plan is designed to lower the power consumption intensity on weekdays by shifting business days to the weekends, when overall demand tends to fall, officials at the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said.

Some 450 member firms of the Japan Auto Parts Industries Association will follow suit, the officials said Wednesday.

Suppliers are coordinating their schedules with the automakers to ensure to ensure there are no holdups, they said.

The government has set a power conservation goal for this summer, encouraging individuals and companies in the service areas of Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Tohoku Electric Power Co. to cut consumption by 15 percent.

The measures are necessary due to damage inflicted on the utilities’ power generation facilities by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

JAMA is also encouraging other manufacturing sectors to suspend factories on weekdays on a rotating basis, in a bid to reduce power consumption by businesses on weekdays, the officials said.