MRO Magazine

Toyota to suspend production at Canadian plants due to parts shortage


Industry

April 20, 2011
By PEM Magazine

Toyota has announced that it will suspend production at Canadian plants for a week starting on May 23; however, the auto giant said that no layoffs are planned.

Toyota Motor Corp. also said that it has resumed production at all of its plants in Japan for the first time since last month’s massive earthquake and tsunami. But the automaker said that the plants would operate at half capacity due to parts shortages. Toyota spokeswoman Shiori Hashimoto said it remained unclear when Toyota would return to full production in Japan.

The magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11 destroyed parts factories in northeastern Japan, causing severe shortages of auto parts.

Hashimoto said the twin disasters have caused Toyota a production loss of 260,000 cars in Japan.

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Toyota isn’t the only automaker feeling the pinch. Ford Motor Co. said that its Asia-Pacific operations may have to slow or stop production later this month because of parts shortages from Japan.

Ford has had to temporarily halt operations in the U.S. and Europe because of shortages, but this was the first word of possible production cuts in Asia. Ford has 13 plants in its Asia-Pacific region, including eight assembly plants in Australia, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, India, the Philippines and China.

Ford doesn’t have any production facilities in Japan but, like other automakers, it sources parts from suppliers that were hurt by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Ford said in a regulatory filing that it expects its operations will be affected beginning the last week of April and into May. It didn’t say which factories or for how long, but said it doesn’t expect any production disruption to have a big impact on the company’s overall financial results. It is pursuing other sources for some of its supply. However, if the supply of a key material or part from Japan is disrupted and it can’t find an alternate, Ford said it may have to reduce or temporarily halt vehicle production. That could hurt both the company’s results and Ford Motor Credit Co.’s financial condition, it added.

Meanwhile, Honda Motor Co. said it will add two weeks to production slowdowns at its 11 North American factories due to parts shortages.

The company said that it’s extending the cuts through May 6. It also expects disruptions after that.

Honda said in late March that it would shut down assembly lines for several hours a day through April 22 because of parts shortages from Japan.

Auto dealers are predicting model shortages in the coming weeks because of production cuts.

Honda said it is trying to get its factories back to normal as soon as possible.

The company said that none of its 21,000 North American factory workers will be laid off.


— with files from the Canadian Press and the Associated Press