Toyota prepares to halt output across Europe

April 21st, 2011By Category: Work Tips

Toyota Motor Corp’s auto assembly factory in Turkey was preparing to halt production as part of an eight-day suspension across Europe because of parts shortages, a senior official said Wednesday.

Toyota said Wednesday its factories in China will also reduce production because of disruptions in supplies of components needed by makers of autos and electronics following last month’s earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of Japan.

The magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11 destroyed auto parts factories in northeastern Japan, causing severe shortages for Toyota and other automakers, forcing the world’s No. 1 automaker to halt or slowdown operation beyond Japan.

On Tuesday, Toyota extended production cuts at its North American factories into early June, raising the likelihood of widespread model shortages at Toyota dealerships well into the summer buying season. But the company promised no layoffs and said it would be ready when parts start flowing again.

Orhan Ozer, the president and CEO of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey Inc (TMMT) told Associated Press Television News on Wednesday that the Turkish plant in the western city of Adapazari will halt output between April 21 and May 2 along with other auto assembly factories in Britain and France, and engine plants in Britain and Poland.

After the stoppages, the plants will run at limited capacity in May.

“The root cause and the source of the problem is some small electronic parts supplied from Japan to our suppliers in Europe,” Ozer said. “During the shutdown and non-production days we will also stop exportation.”

The Turkish plant exports the Verso and Auris models to Spain, France, Britain, Germany and Italy.

Toyota said its factories in China will run at 50% capacity and in “extreme circumstances” at 30% through June 5. It did not give current production levels.

Toyota said it made the decision with its Chinese suppliers because of “the impact of the earthquake on supplies of spare parts.” Toyota said it also will move up the summer break at its China factories to April or May.

Toyota resumed car production at all of its plants in Japan on Monday for the first time since March 11, but said the factories will run at half capacity because of parts shortages.

The company said it was still struggling to secure around 150 types of auto components.

The twin disasters had forced Toyota to shut down all output in Japan except at three plants, which have been running at limited capacity since late March and early April to produce hot-selling Prius, Lexus and Corolla cars.

Shortages of parts from Japan are also affecting other automakers.

Ford Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co recently said that several North American plants would be closed for part of this month. Chrysler Group LLC is cutting overtime at plants in Canada and Mexico to conserve parts from Japan.

Image credit: mike smith / Wikimedia


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