In the wake of the earthquake that hit northeast Japan, Toyota Motor Corp. temporarily suspended vehicle production at nine factories and the delay could last as long as a week.
The 7.3-magnitude quake struck Saturday near Fukushima, injuring about 150 people and shutting down power to millions.
The quake sent six coal- and gas-fired power units offline, cutting off 3.6 gigawatts of power. The Japan Electric Power Exchange is uncertain when the facilities will be back online.
As a result, Toyota is shutting down on 14 lines at nine group factories in Japan, which is about half of their total production of 28 lines at 15 plants there.
Suppliers affected by quake
The quake did not significantly damage or impact Toyota’s plants, but it affected some of its suppliers. As a result, parts are being delayed, causing the temporary shutdown. Officials haven’t revealed how many vehicles will be lost during the closures.
Domestic factories in five prefectures, including Aichi, Iwate and Fukuoka, will halt production between Wednesday and Saturday. Some will be down as long as four days.
The facilities build a variety vehicles, including several Lexus models to the company’s popular Harrier SUVs, according to Bloomberg News.
“Toyota would like to extend its sincere sympathy to those affected by the earthquakes that occurred on Feb. 13 (Sat), and hope for the earliest possible recovery of the affected areas,” the company said in a statement.
Shutdown comes after maker declares push for sales record
About two weeks ago, the company suggested it was looking to set sales record for 2021. Well-placed sources in Japan indicating the company targeted global production of 9.2 million this year.
That would not just mark a big rebound from last year’s losses — 7.9 million units of Toyota-only vehicles, down 12.6% — but position the Japanese giant to set an all-time record – and put itself within reach of once again reining as the world’s number one automotive manufacturer.
Critical to that effort was Toyota planning an increase in Japanese home-market production from 2.92 million last year to 3.2 million in 2021, which will be even more difficult now. The industry, as a whole, was hammered in 2020, global vehicle sales plunging to 76.5 million, according to IHS Markit. The industry peaked at 94.3 million in 2017.