Toyota pauses manufacturing amid surging Covid-19 cases
Toyota Motor Corp has halted expanded automobile production due to the rising Covid-19 cases that have impacted its suppliers and operations in Japan along with a disturbance in production in China due to its ongoing mass testing. The automaker has shut its factory in China for more than a week now.
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A shift on a second production line has been suspended at Toyota’s Tsutsumi plant along with another shift on a different line at the central Japan plant. This has led to a cut to the production of around 1,500 vehicles. Toyota’s popular Camry sedan is among the models manufactured at the factory in Aichi Prefecture.
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A company spokeswoman stated that these combined shutdowns will bring down the automaker’s output for January by around 47,000 vehicles. The company added the latest suspension due to Covid-impacted suppliers and semiconductor shortages will hit as many as 21 assembly lines at 11 factories over a span of three days this month. Toyota also idled operations in Tianjin, China, as the local government carried out mass testing due to a virus surge in the port city near Beijing. Toyota has also stated this week that it might not reach its goal of manufacturing 9 million cars this fiscal year due to the ongoing chip shortage that has been plaguing the auto industry.
On the other hand, automakers such as Honda Motor Co. also said its Suzuka plant in nearby Mie Prefecture would be operating at around 90 per cent capacity in early February. It also cited the chip crisis and rising Covid-19 cases as reasons for a production cut. Chief Executive Officer Makoto Uchida of Nissan Motor Co. said the company is “on a recovery track" even though the chip shortage situation remains uncertain. “We expect the market to recover but the Covid situation is uncertain and we need to be prepared and continue to monitor," Uchida said.
(With inputs from Bloomberg)