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Toyota, major chip supplier to cut production due to Japan earthquake


This photo was taken by Kyodo March 17, 2022.

Kyodo via Reuters| via Reuters

DETROIT – A major earthquake this week in Japan is causing additional problems for the already constrained global automotive supply chain, which continues to manage through problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Auto companies were the most directly affected by Wednesday’s 7.4 magnitude earthquake. They are currently assessing any residual effects on their supply chain. Toyota MotorAnd Renesas ElectronicsThe major supplier of semiconductor chips to the automotive sector is.

LMC Automotive Research expects this earthquake to result in lower vehicle production for the year, between 25,000 to 35,000 vehicles and trucks. These figures are on top of already reduced expectations because of the continuing shortage of semiconductor chip and war in Ukraine.

Jeff Schuster of LMC Americas, stated that this is “just another layer on top” of an already fragile business system. “It was certainly not something the industry needed at this stage.”

Toyota said Friday it would shut down operations at half of the Japanese factories. Out of the 28 production lines at 14 plants, 18 would close for maintenance due to problems with supply.

Toyota stated in a statement that “Due to parts shortages resulting from suppliers damaged by the earthquakes,” additional adjustments would be made in production operations at some plants in Japan.

Toyota’s April-to-June production cuts of 150,000 units caused by uncertainty in the supply chain led to the announcement of shutdowns.

The global automobile industry has struggled with an acute shortage for more than one year. semiconductor chipscaused by plant shut downs in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic. The most significant problem in global supply chains is the chips. This is due to rising costs, inflation, and the pandemic. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The top line for this is it’s another impact on an already constrained system,” said Stephanie Brinley, principal automotive analyst at S&P Global Mobility, formerly IHS Markit. “It does appear to be a short-term impact … but it’s just not industry needs to deal with right now.”

According to Renesas’s website, the company operates three plants near the epicenter of the earthquake in northeast Japan.

Tokyo-based semiconductor manufacturer said that it was trying to restart the plants to return to pre-earthquake production volumes.

Renesas is a key player in the supply chain for automotive semiconductors worldwide. This was evident after a fire at one plant caused by automakers such. Ford MotorReduce production, especially in North America.

Ford employees “have been closely monitoring the situation and actively working towards determining what, if any impact it might have on our operations,” said a company spokesperson Friday. General MotorsSimilar statement.

Smaller Japanese automaker SubaruDue to the earthquake, two automobile assembly plants in California and one engine and transmission facility were told Friday that production would be suspended Friday and Monday.

Subaru released a statement saying that Subaru Corporation will suspend temporarily production at its auto manufacturing facilities because of interruptions in parts supply. The earthquake had also affected the operation of some of the suppliers factories.

Spokespersons for Japanese automakers Honda MotorAnd Nissan MotorThe earthquake had minimal to no effect on operations, according to Honda spokespersons. Honda spokeswoman stated that the company had suspended the night shift of one Japanese plant because of the earthquake.