Toyota production affected by steel shortage

Toyota production affected by steel shortage

Toyota may soon be forced to significantly slow the company’s vehicle production in Japan, a result of an explosion at one of its steel suppliers’ factories.

The explosion took place at an Aichi Steel plant in central Japan January 8. Since then, steel supplying Toyota’s Japanese factories has been slowly dwindling. Currently, there is only enough to keep the lines running until February 6, a spokesman told Automotive News. Beyond that, decisions to run the plants will occur on a “day to day basis.”

Toyota currently produces 14,000 cars a day in Japan, about 40 percent of its global output. It had been on track to build 10.2 million cars and trucks this year, a bump of 50 million from 2015’s tally of 10.15 million.

The setback could put a significant dent in these numbers, which gave Toyota the title of world’s largest automaker last year (surpassing VW in the wake of its diesel engine cheating scandal). The Aichi Steel plant is scheduled to resume normal operations sometime in March. Toyota declined to say which models would be affected by the shortage.

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