03/26/2011 11:18 am ET Updated May 26, 2011

Japan Earthquake Hits Auto Supply Chains, Could Affect 600,000 Cars

(Bloomberg) -- Global automakers may lose production of 600,000 vehicles by the end of the month as the earthquake in Japan halts assembly lines and work at suppliers including the maker of a paint pigment.

About 320,000 vehicles may have been lost worldwide as of March 24, and manufacturing at plants in North America may be affected when parts supplies start running out as soon as early April, said Michael Robinet, vice president of Lexington, Massachusetts-based IHS Automotive.

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