Sponsored By

On the same day that a 7.4 magnitude earthquake rocked the island nation anew and not yet one month after the devastating 9.0 quake and subsequent tsunami of March 11, Toyota announced plans to renew production at all its Japanese vehicle-production facilities from April 18-27 at around 50% capacity. The company also announced on April 8 that its North American vehicle plants would operate on a reduced schedule over the next few weeks, with production suspended on April 15, 18, 21, 22, and 25 (Toyota said its Georgetown, KY plant will still build vehicles on April 21).

PlasticsToday Staff

April 8, 2011

2 Min Read
As new quake shakes Japan, Toyota lays out production plans in Asia, North America

On the same day that a 7.4 magnitude earthquake rocked the island nation anew and not yet one month after the devastating 9.0 quake and subsequent tsunami of March 11, Toyota announced plans to renew production at all its Japanese vehicle-production facilities from April 18-27 at around 50% capacity. The company also announced on April 8 that its North American vehicle plants would operate on a reduced schedule over the next few weeks, with production suspended on April 15, 18, 21, 22, and 25 (Toyota said its Georgetown, KY plant will still build vehicles on April 21). Toyota noted that its North American engine and component plants would follow the same schedule. Fellow Japanese automakers Honda and Nissan have also announced plans to resume car production in April.Toyota_Georgetown_KY.jpg

Toyota's Georgetown, KY production facility.

Reuters reported that consumer electronics company Sony and chip makers Epida Memory and Reneseas announced plans to cease production following the latest earthquake to hit Japan. Industry in the country is also struggling with the Japanese government's demands that it curb power usage, as the country's grid still reels from the tsunami that crippled one of its nuclear power plants.

Toyota North America noted that on average, about 85% of the parts and materials used for the 12 Toyota and Lexus models that are built in North America are sourced from 500 suppliers on this continent. "While production of some parts and materials continues in Japan, Toyota is working closely with affected suppliers in order to minimize the impact," Toyota noted in a press release.

Steve St. Angelo, executive vice president of Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America, said that his company is "slowing down to conserve parts yet maintain production as much as possible." On days when Toyota shutters production in North America, the company said it will continue to provide employment for its approximately 25,000 regular North American employees, asking staff that is not required to work to report for training and plant improvement activities, use vacation, or take unpaid time off.

In Japan, Toyota said that after the production run of April 18-27, all production facilities would enter their annual spring holiday through May 9.  A decision on post-holiday production would be made after the company assesses its parts supply situation.  Production already resumed on March 28 at Toyota's Tsutsumi Plant in Aichi Prefecture and at Toyota Motor Kyushu Inc. in Fukuoka Prefecture. There is a planned production restart on April 11 at Central Motor Co. Ltd.'s Sagamihara Plant in Kanagawa Prefecture.

In a March 26 article, Bloomberg Businessweek cited IHS Automotive's Michael Robinet in saying that around 320,000 vehicles might have been lost worldwide as of March 24 due to the quake's impact on the global automotive supply chain, with the potential to lose production of 600,000 vehicles by the end of April.  

Sign up for the PlasticsToday NewsFeed newsletter.

You May Also Like