Toyota production affected on short-term by steel shortage image

The world’s largest automaker said today it will halt production at its Japanese plants for one week because of a steel shortage due to an explosion at a steel plant.

An explosion at the Aichi Steel plant in Japan, operated by one of Toyota affiliates, has affected the production of steel parts, an incident that could have an impact on the world’s largest automaker output. From the total global production, 40 percent of Toyota’s cars are domestically built. Toyota Motor, which includes the Toyota and Lexus brands, as well as Daihatsu Motor minivehicles and Hino Motors trucks, produced 4,035,434 vehicles in Japan in 2015, roughly 46 percent of which were exported. “At the moment, there is enough supply inventory to keep our domestic plants running until February 6,” a Toyota spokesman said over the weekend, adding that overtime and weekend shifts for next week have been canceled. “After that, we will be monitoring our supply situation on a day-by-day basis and decide accordingly.” However, the Japanese automaker has just released a statement today saying it will suspend all production on its vehicle assembly lines within Japan from February 8 through February 13. “Operations are scheduled to recommence on February 15, and vehicle production on lines outside Japan will not be suspended,” Toyota said.

Toyota was the only carmaker topping 10 million units last year, totaling sales of 10,151,000 vehicles in 2015. In the annual rankings, it was followed by the Volkswagen Group with 9,930,600 units and General Motors with 9.84 million sales reported last year. As part of its plan to strengthen the top place as the world’s top-selling automaker for the fifth year in a row, Toyota has recently announced it reached an agreement whereby Daihatsu would become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota by way of a share exchange.