Auto manufacturer issues American production freeze

Several of Toyota's US facilities will be working on a reduced schedule, with complete plant shutdowns starting as early as Friday, April 15, 2011.


Getting ready to resume most of the production in Japan, Toyota is at the same time weighing its options for the operations in the US. Severely hit by the damages the quake and tsunami caused on March 11 on the supply chain, Toyota announced the way and manner in which the plants it runs in North America will be affected by the parts shortage.

Starting this week, several US facilities will be working on a reduced schedule, with complete plant shutdowns scheduled for April 15, 18, 21 (except for the Georgetown plant), 22, and 25. Toyota hints at the fact it might have to announce similar moves next month as well.

“The situation in Japan affects many automakers and many other industries. Extraordinary efforts are underway to help suppliers recover,” said Steve St. Angelo, executive vice president of Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America.

“We are slowing down to conserve parts yet maintain production as much as possible. We appreciate the flexibility of our team members, suppliers and dealers as we work through these issues.”

In Japan, the auto maker announced it is resuming production starting April 18. By the end of the month, however, on April 27, all plants will shut down again, this time because Toyota Japan is entering the annual spring holiday, which lasts through May 10.

Following that date, the car maker might have to announced further plant shutdowns, as it seems like the supply chain has no chance of being reestablished in the near future.

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