When we say that life as an auto-maker in the era of semiconductor shortages and COVID shutdowns brings new challenges on a daily basis, this is what we mean.
Toyota has cut its expected June production levels again, three days after making a similar announcement. This will not help it fix ongoing shortages and growing customer wait lists.
The latest (May 27) bulletin says the company has cut a further 50,000 vehicles from its June production plan, to 800,000 vehicles. It cut the June target from about 900,000 cars to 850,000 cars on May 24.
That’s not quite as bad as the May outcome, with output for the current month (at the time of writing) first cut to 750,000, and then a targeted 700,000 – as reported on May 11.
The latest 50,000-unit cut affects its Japanese plants, with 16 lines at 10 plants and/or body shops all suspending production from June 6 to June 10.
Affected plants are Motomachi, Takaoka, Tsutsumi, Tahara, Miyata, Iwate, Miyagi Ohira and Oyamazaki, plus the Inabe and Yoshiwara body shops.
Production vehicles affected by the five-business-day factory suspensions include Australia-market cars such as the Toyota Yaris Cross, GR Yaris, C-HR, Corolla, RAV4, Prado, LandCruiser 300, LandCruiser 70, and HiAce.
The majority of these vehicles are currently subject to long wait times in Australia. On the Toyota side you’re looking at a few months minimum, with high-demand cars like the RAV4 hybrid and LandCruiser range well beyond 12 months.
The Lexus LX and NX are also subject wait times north of 12 months.
“We at Toyota would like to again apologise for the repeated adjustments to our production plans due to the parts shortage resulting from the spread of COVID-19, and for causing considerable inconvenience to our customers who have been waiting for the delivery of vehicles, suppliers, and other parties concerned,” TMC said.
“We recently announced the suspension of operations at some domestic plants in Japan in May/June and the global production plan for June. Due to the impact of the lockdown in Shanghai, we have further decided to suspend operations at some of our domestic plants for the week of June 6.
“… Although it is very difficult to estimate the current supply situation of parts due to the ongoing lockdown in Shanghai, and there is a possibility that the production plan may be lower, we will do our utmost to minimise the sudden decrease in production while closely examining the parts supply.
“As it remains difficult to look ahead due to the shortage of semiconductors and the spread of COVID-19, we will continue to make every effort possible to deliver as many vehicles to our customers at the earliest date.”
Toyota still says to expect a group-wide output of 9.7 million cars in this Japanese fiscal year (ending March 31), down from an initial projection of 11 million cars when it thought the global supply chain would bounce back this year.
Losing around 1.3 million vehicles from global allocation will send shockwaves throughout all key Toyota regions, not least of all Australia where the company commands north of 20 per cent market share.
To its credit Toyota Australia has kept industry stakeholders quite well informed of its stock situation compared to other brands, and we’re expecting another localised update in the near future. We will always keep you as informed as we are.
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