UPDATE: Toyota Australia has confirmed that it expects this event to impact on local supply. See full details at bottom of article.
Toyota has just confirmed that it will suspend all car production in Japan for six days from February 8 to 13 due to an explosion at a key steel supplier’s factory.
Production is currently slated to resume on February 15.
The explosion at the Aichi Steel’s Chita plant in central Japan took place on January 8, 2016. According to Reuters, the company expects to resume steel making operations at the factory in March.
In the mean time, Toyota says that it will “take any measures necessary to minimise the impact of this incident on vehicle production”, including sourcing steel from Aichi’s other steel making facilities, as well as other suppliers.
According to Toyota, “vehicle production on lines outside Japan will not be suspended”. It’s not known, though, at this stage what effect this will have on the supply of Toyota vehicles around the world.
Above: New Toyota Prius. Top: Production of the Toyota Mirai.
Popular model lines, such as the Camry, Corolla and Hilux, are made in various locations throughout the world. Others, such as the majority of the Lexus range and latest-generation Prius, are produced only in Japan.
Last year, the Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands made a total 8.9 million vehicles. Just over 5.7 million of these were made in factories outside of Japan.
Of the roughly 3.2 million Toyota, Lexus and Scion cars made in Japan in 2015, just under 1.8 million were exported to overseas markets.
Speaking with CarAdvice today, Toyota Australia corporate affairs manager Beck Angel said that although the situation is still being reviewed, some impact on local supply is expected.
“In terms of our import vehicles, there will be a flow-on effect from the stop of vehicle production in Japan next week. We are currently working with TMC to determine the exact impact, however we can confirm that there will be some delays in vehicle delivery as a result,” Ms Angel said.
“We will keep our dealers and guests up to date on any delays and will do all that we can to minimise the impact.”
Toyota Australia imports most of its vehicles from Japan, with the exception of the Camry and Aurion (both produced locally), HiLux (Thailand), Corolla sedan (Thailand), Fortuner (Thailand) and Kluger (USA).