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Auto Supply Chain Feels Japan Quake Reverberations

LINDA WERTHEIMER, Host:

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports on how this affects the global auto industry.

SONARI GLINTON: Rebecca Lindland says that just not the case. She's an analyst with IHS Automotive.

REBECCA LINDLAND: There is really just one industry these days. There's very few cars that are sourced completely from one region.

GLINTON: Lindland says the auto industry's supply chain is increasingly global and fragile.

LINDLAND: So even something as small as, say, an astray that is specifically designed for an individual vehicle, you could potentially see the production of the vehicle being affected.

MICHAEL MCHALE: Part of the automotive business is production and logistics management.

GLINTON: Michael McHale is with Subaru, which makes 55 percent of the vehicles it sells in the U.S. in the U.S. He says he's worried the Japanese disaster will have an almost immediate effect in dealers' showrooms.

MCHALE: As it happens at Subaru, our stocks have been pretty low for a while. We've been selling very well the last couple, three years, so we're a little bit concerned going into this situation. Our stocks were low to begin with.

GLINTON: Sonari Glinton, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sonari Glinton is a NPR Business Desk Correspondent based at our NPR West bureau. He covers the auto industry, consumer goods, and consumer behavior, as well as marketing and advertising for NPR and Planet Money.