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Toyota halts Japanese production

Stop work: The explosion at the Aichi Steel manufacturing plant has caused critical materials sourcing problems for Toyota in Japan.

Aus deliveries impacted as Toyota halts Japanese production over steel shortage

2 Feb 2016

4:45PMTOYOTA Motor Corporation has announced that it will temporarily shut down its Japanese production lines following a steel shortage caused by an explosion at a steel factory earlier this month, with Australian deliveries likely to be impacted.

The car-maker said in a statement from its Japanese headquarters that operations at its domestic manufacturing facilities will cease for six days from Monday February 8 through to Saturday February 13, with production re-starting on Monday February 15.

A further statement from Toyota Australia confirms that there will be an impact to deliveries of Toyota models Down Under as a result of the steel shortage, and that the car-maker was communicating with its dealer network and customers about the situation.

“There will be a flow on effect from the stop of vehicle production in Japan next week. We are currently working with TMC to determine the exact impact, however we can confirm that there will be some delays in vehicle delivery as a result,” the statement read.

“We will keep our dealers and guests up to date on any delays and will do all that we can to minimise the impact.”

A number of models sold in Australia are sourced from Japanese plants, including the Prius range, Yaris, Corolla hatch, RAV4, LandCruiser range including Prado, the 86 and HiAce.

Toyota Motor Company said it was looking at ways to work around the issue and minimise the impact on production.

“Toyota will continue to take any measures necessary to minimize the impact of this incident on vehicle production. Such measures may include production on alternate lines operated by Aichi Steel and procurement from other steelmakers,” the statement read.

Toyota said it is only Japanese production facilities impacted by the shortage.

The car-maker has reportedly suspended some parts exports and stopped overtime work at the Japanese plants as a result of the explosion.

The explosion at the Aichi Steel Corporation factory near the city of Nagoya caused enough damage for the company to estimate a one-month break in steel manufacturing, while the damage is assessed and repaired. Production at the steel-maker's, which is 33 per cent owned by Toyota, is expected to recommence in March.

Four people were taken to hospital for observation following the explosion, but there were no reported injuries.

According to United States industry publication Automotive News, Toyota produces about 14,000 Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles per day in Japan, with approximately 17 per cent of that volume sent to the US.

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