Chip plant fire could hurt Japan auto output

Japanese automakers are assessing the impact of a fire at a major domestic maker of semiconductors. This comes with the industry already facing a global shortage.

The fire broke out last Friday at a factory of Renesas Electronics north of Tokyo. Some of the equipment was damaged, and chip production for automobiles was partially halted.

Renesas aims to return to full production within a month. Automakers have sent people to the factory to help out.

Among the companies that use Renesas chips are Toyota, Nissan and Honda. Japanese carmakers have already had to reduce output due to a global chip shortage.

Other chipmakers have limited capacity to make up the shortfall.

Analysts say the Renesas fire could force automakers to cut output further.