The covid-19 pandemic and the semiconductor crisis continue to give the automotive industry no respite. The Japanese giant, Toyota, announced that it had to suspend its operations in 10 of the 14 plants it has in Japan.so it cut its production expectations.
As announced by the company through a statement, in June this year it expects to manufacture some 800,000 cars (200,000 units in Japan and 600,000 abroad), thus cutting its production projection by 50,000 cars for this month.
It is worth noting that days prior to this announcement, the Japanese brand had already reported that it would stop producing 100,000 units for June as well. In other words, the cut in total has been 150,000 units.
“We would like to apologize again for the repeated adjustments to our production plans due to parts shortages and the spread of COVID-19, and for causing considerable inconvenience to our customers who have been waiting for vehicle deliveries,” the company said.
Likewise, although the initial projection that the firm had drawn up to assemble 11 million cars for the fiscal year – which ends in March 2023 – had already dropped to 9.7 million, the Japanese giant acknowledged that it is “difficult to estimate the current parts supply situation due to the ongoing lockdown in Shanghai, so there is a possibility that the production plan will be much smaller”.
And it is that, although the shortage of microcomponents already came from the pandemic, it was aggravated by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, due to the fact that a large part of the essential raw materials for the manufacture of these chips —such as neon, palladium and harnesses of electrical wiring—are produced by these nations.
More settings and waiting
The recent cut that Toyota announced affects 16 lines in 10 of its plants in Japan, which will suspend production, for now, until June 10.
As for some of the models that will be affected in their production are the Toyota Yaris Cross, GR Yaris, C-HR, Corolla, RAV4, Prado, LandCruiser 300, LandCruiser 70 and HiAce.
In this way, the deliveries of these vehicles, which are mostly exported from Japan, are experiencing significant delays.
In fact, according to the Reuters agency, Toyota customers are already subject to a minimum wait of about six months, but in the case of high-demand cars such as the RAV4 hybrid and the LandCruiser, the wait for delivery exceeds 12 months.
Lexus LX and NX are also subject to wait times in excess of a year.
The Colombian market is no stranger to microchip shortage problems, as the country’s automotive sector is not self-sufficient.
This was stated by Carlos Andrés Pineda, president of the Association of the Automotive Sector and its Parts (Asopartes), who indicated that 90% of the parts for assembly and repair of vehicles used in the country are imported.
Pineda described Toyota’s situation with its plants in Japan as worrying, since there are currently only two car assembly factories in the country: Chevrolet and Renault.
“Since 1991, the country’s automotive industry has been undergoing many changes, because some of the existing assembly plants moved, like Mazda’s, which went to Mexico. Later, Sofasa stopped assembling Toyota models, and since then all vehicles are imported.”, pointed out the leader of Asopartes.
And he emphasized that Colombia must be more competitive and efficient in production methods, as well as advance in government incentive policies for the industry, in order to preserve those assembly factories that still have a presence in the country.