Covid costs Toyota 40% production loss in September

Automotive Industry

Source: Automotive Logistics, 2021-08-24

Parts shortages caused by the spread of Covid-19 in South-East Asia, compounded by ongoing semiconductor shortages, have forced Toyota to cut September’s global production by 40%. 

Output will be scaled back in Japan, Europe and North America, as well as China, and the carmaker expects to lose output equal to 360,000 vehicles for the month. That follows shutdowns to assembly lines at a number of facilities through the last three months because of similar disruption.

In Europe sources indicate the carmaker is expected to lose output equal to around 40,000 units across assembly locations, though it did not share further details on the facilities affected.

In the US, Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) said it was looking at an approximate loss in production of between 40%-60% because of disruption caused by Covid-19 and other “unexpected events” affecting the supply chain.

“Toyota is experiencing additional shortages that will affect production at most of our North American plants,” said a spokesperson for the company, adding that manufacturing and supply chain teams have worked diligently to develop countermeasures to minimise the impact on production of what was a fluid and complex situation.

“In North America, we are projecting a reduction of approximately 60,000 to 90,000 vehicles in August,” said the spokesperson. “As for September, we are projecting a reduction of 80,000 vehicles, but the situation remains very fluid. We do not anticipate any impact to employment at this time.”

In Japan the adjustments to production affect a total of 27 lines across 14 plants, and the carmaker said that would account for around 140,000 units of the overall global loss. As part of the line closures, production of the luxury Century model at the Motomachi plant will be stopped between 24 August and 30 September. Corolla production and Rav4 production at the Takaoka plant will also be stopped between  1-17 September, among other more scattered closures across the 14 plants.

The carmaker is also taking action to control Covid infections, which have risen sharply in Japan, at its own facilities.

In a statement Toyota said: “The virus is an issue that has the potential to affect all Toyota locations and we are continuously working to further enhance our communication and health checks with staff at all locations. Toyota is actively implementing measures to prevent the further spread of the virus and remain committed to provide timely updates as the situation requires.

Earlier in August Nissan announced it was having to suspend operations at its Smyrna plant in the US because of microchip shortages from Malaysia caused by a coronavirus outbreak at its supplier’s facility there.

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