Shortages caused by Japan quake and tsunami reaching SC

USC Management Science professor Manoj Malhotra / FILE

MYRTLE BEACH (WACH, WPDE) -- The earthquake and tsunami in Japan is having an impact on manufacturing worldwide, creating shortages of replacement parts and assembled goods.

According to USC Management Science professor Manoj Malhotra, there are concerns about shortages of Japanese goods, including auto parts and electronic components.

It could have a long-term disruptive affect on the supply chains. For example, many commercial flights that go to Tokyo aren't being taken because the demand for travel to Japan is gone.

He says if people can't get in and out of the country neither will imports or exports.

Grand Strand business owners say local electronics shoppers and car buyers will soon feel the effects.

"Right now, it has not impacted us, but it will," said Keith Ferrell, the owner of AVAC Superstore in Myrtle Beach. The store sells electronic audio and video equipment and home appliances.

Ferrell says he's been told by representatives from Sony , Toshiba , and Mitsubishi that there will shortages in coming months, since many of their critical components are manufactured in plants damaged by the quake.

AVAC has a few alternative suppliers in the meantime, Ferrell said. "There are a lot of Chinese-based companies, a lot of Korean-based companies today."

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But it will be hard to avoid the effect of slowdowns caused by damaged factories. Ferrell says the first impact shoppers may notice is that the price erosion of the past couple of years on plasma and LCD TV's will slow down.

"It's been like a melting ice cream cone," he said, but those prices should stabilize over the next few months.

At East Coast Honda in Myrtle Beach , general sales manager Scott Proctor says the potential shortage of parts and vehicles hasn't impacted the dealership yet, but it will.

Proctor says Honda had a two-month inventory of cars already built, so availability won't be an issue until sometime after May.

Toyota has asked its US dealers to restrict orders on some parts because it's concerned about running out of them.

Even American car manufacturers are facing shortages. Car and truck buyers could face limited color choices in coming weeks, due to damage at a critical paint manufacturing plan t.

Have you experienced any delays or difficulty finding products due to the issues in Japan? Leave your answer in the comment section below.