Japanese Parts Paralysis: Toyota Announces More Shutdowns In North America And China

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
japanese parts paralysis toyota announces more shutdowns in north america and china

During an intimate round table in Shanghai, usually well informed reporters were harping on the influence of radiation on Toyota sales. I expected the heads of communication of Toyota worldwide and Toyota China to blurt out: “Radiation? What impacts sales is the fact that we don’t have any cars to sell.” But they kept their cool in the face of a hot topic.

After a month-long quake-induced hiatus, Toyota restarted production in all Japanese factories on Monday. In the meantime, the shockwaves of the tsunami ripple through the supply lines.

Vehicle production in China will be carried out at 30 percent to 50 percent of normal from April 21 through June 3 due to parts supply difficulties, Toyota said in a statement. “A decision on production after June 3 will depend on the parts-supply situation,” says the message quite ominously.

Production at Toyota’s North American plants will be suspended on Mondays and Fridays between April 26 and June 3. Production from Tuesdays through Thursdays will be carried out at approximately 50% of normal. In Canada, production will be suspended for the week starting May 23, and in the United States, for the week starting May 30.

Ominous message: “No decisions have yet been made regarding production after June 3.”

There is no need to play up radiation hysteria. Toyota is suffering from more serious fall-out. Sales of Toyota are impacted by the fact that disruptions of the parts supply prevent cars from being made.

Join the conversation
  • Steven02 Steven02 on Apr 20, 2011

    Bertel, You have been on top of this from the beginning. You can provide the most recent update from all the major auto manufactures on this? It seems like Toyota is getting hit harder than anyone, but I am not seeing how bad Honda and Nissan are being hit. For GM, it seemed pretty minor on the Colorado front. I would like to know if I missed anything else in here. Maybe a biweekly update till the effects are sorted out and production plans finalized.

    • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Apr 20, 2011

      I'll give you the updates as I get them. From talking to the manufacturers, they still are being surprised by outages. Even Chinese parts manufacturers are being impacted. It gets as silly as a small connector that is only being produced in Japan.

      Indeed, Toyota is hardest hit because they have the most exposure in japan.

  • APaGttH APaGttH on Apr 20, 2011

    Bertel as you are all over this (and thanks). What is the impact on Scion in North America? As I understand all Scion models (xB, xD, tC) are made in Japan 100%. What is the impact going to be on the brand? I ask because I see Scion as a Zombie brand in the Toyota line up as it is, and I'm going to guess that serious restrictions on inventory/production will further shrink Scion's tiny footprint.

    • See 1 previous
    • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Apr 21, 2011

      Ah! I wanted to make a story out of the old OESA survey from end of March, but I see this is more recent!

  • Onewheeldrive Onewheeldrive on Apr 21, 2011

    The last few pages of this pdf list the impact on each manufacturer in terms of production lost. http://www.oesa.org/Action-Alerts/IHS-Japan-Disaster-Output-Impact-Update-April-13.pdf