Just as it struggled to boost its recovering from March’s tsunami and earthquake, Toyota production is being hit by another catastrophe. Japanese factories that ship some of the company’s best selling exports, including the Prius hybrid, to the United States are facing output disruptions due to a shortage of parts imported from suppliers in Thailand, where supply chain was blocked by severe flooding.
As a result, Toyota Motor Corp. is eliminating overtime at five Japanese assembly plants from Monday through Friday. The measure address to plants producing such vehicles as the Prius, iQ, Land Cruiser, Corolla, Scion tC and RAV4. It also hits plants making the Lexus LS, GS, IS, GX, ES, HS and RX.
According to Toyota official Shiori Hashimoto, the company expects to lose 6,000 units of Japanese output, on top of the already estimated 37,500 units lost until Oct. 21 from its three Thai assembly plants.
The three Toyota manufacturing sites in Thailand have not been damaged by the flooding, but are closed since Oct. 10 because of supplier disruption.
Other Japanese automakers, like Honda, Nissan, Mazda and Mitsubishi, operating in Thailand have now suspended their activity and are investigating the potential impact on other overseas plants.
The floods are expected to cause Thailand’s auto sector, the biggest in Southeast Asia, to miss its output target of 1.8 million units this year. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda and Mitsubishi have suspended assembly – either because suppliers’ plants or their own factories are flooded by the rising waters.