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.