Earthquake causes most of Toyota's Japan operations to shut down
10 September 2018 - Autoblog
Toyota's Japanese supply chain is affected by Hokkaido earthquake
Toyota is idling a large portion of its Japanese assembly plants as a result of the devastating earthquake in Hokkaido, Japan. The earthquake had such a big effect on the carmaker's supply chain that a number of its plants will have to be shut down for an undisclosed period, starting on Saturday.
The 6.7 magnitude earthquake occurred early on September 6th, resulting in more than dozen casualties and hundreds of injuries, cutting power to the entire island; the powerplant supplying half of the island's power was located so close to the earthquake's epicenter that it shut down automatically, bringing down the rest of the island's grid with it. Tens of people were also reported missing, as reported by Reuters.
The affected factories are the Kyushu, Tahara and Toyota Auto Body plants, according to Automotive News, and they manufacture vehicles such as different Lexus models and the Toyota Land Cruiser. Some of the models produced in these factories are exported to the United States, but a Toyota spokesman said that North American operations are not likely to be significantly affected by the plant closures.
As well as the automobile assembly plants in Hokkaido, Toyota also has a facility there that manufactures transmissions and transfer cases. As it was also without power, Toyota could not confirm when the plant would be back online. Out of Hokkaido's 2.95 million households, 1.54 million had regained power by Friday afternoon.
All in all, Toyota has 18 manufacturing facilities in Japan; spokeswoman Akito Kita said that from Monday on, the shutdown will affect all Japanese Toyota and Lexus lines — not including two Daihatsu facilities that are also used for Toyota products. The shutdowns come directly after Toyota also announced a recall for Japanese-built hybrid models, mainly Prius.