Japanese automaker Toyota reportedly to cease production

February 1
2:08 AM 2016

Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp is reported to cease production at its local plants in early February due to the shortage of steel. The blast at Aichi Steel's Chita plant, a unit of Toyota, has limited steel production that impacted Toyota's output.

Reuters quoted a spokesman from Toyota saying that there are enough steel supply to keep the company's local plants working until February 6 and that the weekend and overtime shifts had been aborted. The company will be monitoring the steel supply on an every-day-basis and decision will be made accordingly, the spokesperson added.

The company will recommence operations in March, according to Reuters. The automaker manufactured 4.0 million cars in Japan during 2015, out of which nearly 46 percent were exported. The halt in production may affect the company's aim to create 4.13 million cars in Japan in 2016.

The automaker, which reported global sales of 10.15 million last year, is expecting to produce 10.2 million cars globally in the current year in order to beat its rivals and to maintain its title as the largest automaker in the world. Toyota, which produces nearly 14,000 cars per day in the country, declined to remark on which components will be impacted by the steel shortage.

Meanwhile Volkswagen, one of Toyota's peers in Europe, also ceased production at its main gearbox factory and at two of its German plants that design Passats. The stoppage is due to some technical problems at the plants and weak demand, according to International Business Times. The second largest automaker halted production at its Emden plant in northwest Germany and its Kassel plant Friday due to technical troubles.

On March 2011, a draconian earthquake affected the microchip firm of Renesas that sold nearly 70% of production to automakers in Japan. The Japanese automakers including Toyota were impacted by the disaster and they organized an army to reconstruct the factory, Forbes said.

The company recently announced that it is recalling around 5,000 Model Year 2016 Lexus RX 350 as well as RX 450h cars as a safety measure. The company noted that the recalled cars are equipped with driver's knee airbag that may be defective. The dealers of Lexus will inspect the users of the involved cars and will replace the driver's knee airbag, if necessary, Toyota said on its official website.

Toyota Motor, which took full control of its Daihatsu division in a $3 billion pact Friday, has concentrated on creating closer ties with rivals like Mazda Motors Corp as auto producers experience increasing costs of facing harder environmental standards amid weaker car sales worldwide.

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