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Japan Tragedy Affects Auto Industry – Parts AND Paint

The auto industry will be reeling awhile worldwide.  As everyone knows, Japan is a major player in parts supplies and other industries, but few realize that the disaster has also affected a principle manufacturer for a popular paint pigment:

“Merck KGaA has lost production of a metallic automotive paint pigment called Xirallic because its factory is 28 miles from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant that was damaged by the earthquake and tsunami”.  Read the full article here.

Xirallic pearl pigments have that extra colored “sparkle” that helps auto makers sell cars.  This particular factory owned by a German company was the principle supplier of black and red pearl pigments.  New vehicles painted with those colors will be come scarce until the company can relocate production or if a competitor is able to reproduce the technology.

Hopefully the world will get along without the “tragedy” of a couple car colors being non-existent for awhile.  The real tragedy in Japan is the tremendous damage, death, displaced families, shortage of electricity and lack of uncontaminated food and water caused by the earthquake, tsunamis and continuing aftershocks.  Please contribute to your local Japan relief fund as you are able. Since the devastation after WWII, this nation has been one of our staunchest allies.


Other industries have been affected as well, some we don’t think about.  Read another report here on how things like circuit boards, electronics and even ball bearings can be affected.