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Toyota production in Japan hit by COVID-19 parts crisis

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Toyota production in Japan hit by COVID-19 parts crisis

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Parts shortages caused by the coronavirus pandemic are further hampering production at Toyota, Japan’s top automaker

Production at 11 factories in Japan will be halted on Friday, Saturday and next Monday, Toyota Motor Corp said.

This is in addition to the reductions planned for February that were announced earlier. These reductions will take place over several days at eight of its 14 factories in Japan, including the assembly lines making the Prius and luxury Lexus hybrid models.

Supplies are running out due to a lack of computer chips, which are crucial in auto parts. Factories inside and outside Japan have experienced closures and shutdowns related to COVID-19 measures. Toyota did not give details.

Production in January will be reduced by 47,000 vehicles, taking into account the latest changes, according to Toyota. For the fiscal year to March, production will now be below the 9 million vehicles the automaker had targeted, despite healthy demand for Toyota offerings. All manufacturers are scrambling to secure tight chip supplies, deepening the crisis, Toyota said.

“We are doing everything we can to deliver our vehicles to our customers as soon as possible,” he said in a statement. “We deeply apologize.”

Toyota periodically released information about COVID-19 among its employees. Toyota said four workers at a line at the Tsutsumi plant in Toyota city, Aichi prefecture fell ill, so it was closed. Earlier in the week, 14 workers tested positive on another line at the same plant, halting daytime operations for four days.

The pandemic has disrupted not just the automotive sector, but various fields including shipping, oil supply and meat packing, serving as a reminder of the connectedness of the world and the importance of the humblest worker.

Matteo Fini, vice president, who analyzes automotive supply chains and technology for IHS Markit, said supply issues aren’t expected to go away for some time, and are serious, costing manufacturers up to ‘at $50 million a week.

That means the savings from the famous “Toyota Way” of lean manufacturing, based on having as little inventory as possible for “just-in-time” production, may no longer pay off, Fini said.

“Recent experience with these input shortages is forcing automakers to go against everything they’ve done in the past 30 years in supply chain management,” he said. -he declares.

“Automakers are now considering inventorying certain parts because, in relative terms, it costs peanuts to have that inventory versus a line stop.”


Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter

Toyota production in Japan hit by COVID-19 parts crisis

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