By on April 22, 2011

In a surprise press conference that had not been confirmed as late as last night, Toyota’s president Akio Toyoda laid out plans for Toyota getting back to normal. Bottom line: Toyota hopes to be back to normal by the end of the year.

“To all the customers who made the decision to buy a vehicle made by us, I sincerely apologize for the enormous delay in delivery,” Akio Toyoda said.

Production operations had been halted after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Production gingerly came back on-line at the beginning of the week. Currently, manufacturing plants in Japan are working at 50 percent of capacity due to parts availability, while those in North America are operating at 30 percent of capacity.

Today it was announced that in Japan, normalization of production is expected to start in July, with full normalization to be established at around November or December.

Outside Japan, depending on region and vehicle model, normalization of production is expected to start in August, with full normalization also expected to be completed in the November/December timeframe.

Toyota is still short approximately 150 parts positions, mainly electronic, rubber and paint-related.  These shortages affect new-vehicle production. Replacement parts for service and repair are available.

The reduction in production is expected to take a good chunk out of Toyota’s 2011 production and sales numbers. Toyota Motor Corporation  (Toyota, Daihatsu and Hino) ended 2010 with  worldwide production of 8.56 million, and with sales of 8.42 million. Toyota had planned a very sedate increase of 2 percent for 2011. These plans obviously have been overtaken by events.

Asked for how big the hit will be, Toyota spokesman Paul Nolasco said: ”Our main focus is getting production back to normal, then we will see.”

The Nikkei [sub] already speculates that the “production cuts will likely reduce the auto giant’s overall output by some 20% to about 6.4 million vehicles in 2011. That would make Toyota the world’s No. 3 automaker, assuming production volumes at General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG remain the same.”

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9 Comments on ““Enormous Delay In Delivery:” Toyota Production Back To Normal – By The End of The Year...”

  • avatar

    decades ago an evil Japanese empire transitioned to receiving reparations, these days the predominant Japanese company goes from defending sudden acceleration to receiving sympathy. the tsunami is gone and once again the tide has turned…

    • 0 avatar

      Can we leave ancient wars out of these discussions? This is getting really old. None of us is ancient enough to have had a hand in these wars.
      And aren’t you tired of hearing that Americans put Indians on death marches and put  Negroes in the back of the bus?
      I am in Japan a lot and have gotten to know them as one of the most peaceful people on earth. They are thoroughly sick of wars.
      30,000 people have died. Hundreds of thousands have been uprooted. We should treat that with the proper respect and not waddle in trite cliches.

      • 0 avatar

        70 years ago is not ancient. Indians are still suffering from the theft of their lands. Negroes still resent slavery and discrimination. the Chinese still resent being invaded by the Japanese. disasters are never trite, but then again neither is relatively recent history.

      • 0 avatar

        +1 Bertel, ancient history
        I logged in to discuss your numbers on displacement. It should be millions not hundreds of thousands. It remains to be seen when TEPCO and the Japanese government will step up and widen the exclusion zone but if I were near it I would “voluntarily” relocate and I’d feel forced into doing so.

    • 0 avatar

      The Japanese have changed and are a peace loving society that contribute wonderful things to the world.  Yes, in the past they did terrible / evil things during times of war but so did the Germans / French / English / Spanish / Russians / Americans / Chinese / (now insert the bad things people have done on behalf of religion), and so on…

    • 0 avatar

      Buickman, come join us in the present.  We can learn from the past but we should live in the present with an eye on the future.

      And speaking of which, I have a cousin who is married to a Japanese lady and now lives on Okinawa. He tells me that recovery is still a long way off. It is much more than just the devastation. Now it is more of a disrupted supply chain infrastructure and lack of power and water resources.

      Based on that I believe that “by the end of the year” is overly optimistic if it is implied that it means 2011. I believe that the end of the year 2012 is more likely. I can understand why they want to downplay this. It affects ALL manufacturers of ALL industries who rely on parts made in Japan. This is another downside to outsourcing if there is no supplier-diversification.

  • avatar

    I’m not a big Toyota fan, but I applaud Mr. Toyoda for giving this frank assessment of the situation his company is currently faced with.

    Based on everything Bertel has posted here, end of the year sounds about right – but who really knows? A schedule like this has lots of moving parts that can break…

    I don’t work in the car business, but I was talking to one of my suppliers today and they expect certain Japanese sourced parts to be on allocation until at least the third quarter. It won’t affect their deliveries as they have secured what they need to meet forecast demand – but they are in a *much* lower volume business than the carmakers. I wouldn’t want to be trying to source parts that are used by the thousand right about now…

    • 0 avatar

      I feel the exact same way. Not a fan of Toyota but this is exactly what was needed. It appears that Toyota has learned a lot of their horrific PR management previously.
      Transparency goes a very long way and builds understanding. When you even appear to be hiding something, the results are not going to turn out well.

  • avatar

    Back to normal by the end of the year makes sense, I suppose.  It would be interesting to see how their plight stacks up against other industries (small and large).  Some will take much longer, some will never recover.

    Toyota has the wherewithal to make their recovery as quick as possible; others, not so much.

    This is a terrible shame, not because of the car shortage, but because of the many lives and livelihoods affected.

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