Toyota Halts Car Production at 20 Plants
A combination of chip shortage and COVID-19 prevention measures forced Toyota Motor Corporation to announce production cuts at the end of last week. The Japanese auto giant had announced that 20 of its 28 Toyota and Lexus production lines and 11 of its 14 domestic vehicle assembling factories would be shut down for three days, with operations expected to be resumed today.
This development follows Toyota’s announcement earlier this month of planned production cuts for February that will affect half of its 14 production plants in Japan. The automaker had stated that it will be unable to meet its global production goal of nine million vehicles in the current fiscal year that will end on 31 March.
It now intends to reduce its output by producing 47,000 vehicles in January, being unable to acquire sufficient semiconductor chips to meet its target. The company now has to reassess its lean production strategy based on minimum inventory that had enabled it to become the world’s most efficient vehicle manufacturer over the last three decades.
In other news, Toyota has openly warned of a 4-year delivery time for its latest Land Cruiser model. Meanwhile, many Japanese publishers speculate that Toyota will be unable to introduce a newer generation of the Prado 2023 model on account of its ongoing production crisis.
A spokesman for Toyota acknowledged the situation and announced in a statement, “We are doing our utmost to deliver our vehicles to our customers as soon as possible. We deeply apologize”.