Toyota halts production in Thailand – shortage of parts

Toyota has stopped operations at its three assembly plants in Thailand due to a shortage of parts. The halt in production at the Ban Pho, Samrong and Gateway plants began on Wednesday and is expected to last until July 28, with the automaker saying that it will assess the situation and decide whether operations will resume from July 29, Nikkei Asia reports.

The root cause of the disruption is yet again the Covid-19 pandemic. An external factory, which supplies wire harnesses needed to connect electrical components, was recently forced to shut down temporarily due to an outbreak of the virus.

The country has been hit by a surge in infections in recent weeks, with a record 13,655 cases being reported yesterday. Measures taken by the government to counter the spike have included imposing a business lock-down of affected provinces to contain the situation. While the Toyota factories were included in those areas, automotive production was not among the activities banned.

The factories were originally scheduled to close in any case from July 24 to 28 due to local holidays, so if the company can address the sourcing issue before July 29, it will be able to limit the production halt to just three days. “The production operation for the next week will be determined at a later stage,” the company said via a statement.

This is the second time the company’s production in Thailand has been disrupted by the pandemic, the first being last year, when they were closed during the first wave in March. Annual build capacity at the factories is 760,000 units, but production last year amounted to only 440,000 units. Half of the vehicles made are sold domestically, and the remainder exported to global markets.

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