Industry > Mess

Toyota’s Japan production lines hampered by earthquake

Expect slight delays with models sourced from Japan

The Motomachi plant is responsible for the assembly of cars like the Crown and the GR Yaris. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

If you weren’t aware, there was a magnitude 7.4 earthquake off the coast of the Fukushima prefecture (in the Tohoku region of Japan) last March 16. It was powerful enough to injure 107 people, kill three, and even derail a Shinkansen bullet train.

With an earthquake this strong affecting logistics and operations in that region, it’s inevitable that suppliers will be affected. And sure enough, there is now a parts shortage that is directly affecting the operations of Toyota Motor Corporation‘s plants within the country.

The company will be suspending operations in most of their plants, where 18 lines at 11 plants (out of 28 lines at 14 plants) will be shut down starting today until Wednesday (March 23).

The plants that will be affected are: Motomachi, Takaoka, Tahara, Iwate, Miyagi Ohira, Fujimatsu, Yoshiwara, Gifu Auto Body, Toyota Industries Corporation, Hino’s Hamura Plant, and Daihatsu’s Oyamazki Plant.

While most of the vehicles from these plants are destined for the Japanese domestic market and other countries (such as the Crown, the Aqua and the Noah), there are a few affected models that we receive in the Philippines: the RAV4, the Land Cruiser 300, the Prado, the FJ Cruiser, the Coaster and the GR Yaris, alongside the majority of the Lexus lineup.

And for those asking, models assembled outside of Japan (such as the Avanza, the Raize and the Vios) are unaffected.

While it may look short, the effects of this production suspension will be felt in the weeks (or months) to come, on top of the other issues brought about by the global pandemic and the chip shortage.

We just hope that customers shopping for a new Toyota or Lexus will extend their patience a little bit, especially for those who are in the multiyear queue for the Land Cruiser 300 and the Lexus LX.

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. And he is our managing editor (believe it or not). He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.