Toyota suspends Chinese operations amid power outage

TOYOTA has halted vehicle production at its plant in Chengdu, China, as severe power restrictions affect the region.

The facility, located in China’s Sichuan province, was forced to suspend operations after local authorities issued an order to conserve electricity as the western part of the country struggled to deal with the worst heat wave in 60 years.

Sichuan province has rationalized industrial electricity consumption for users in 19 of its 21 major cities, prompting Toyota and other producers to suspend operations or reduce production.

According to a notice issued by the Sichuan Ministry of Economy and Information Technology, all industrial operations in the province must suspend operations until at least August 20 as it works to prioritize supplying electricity to resident consumers.

“We are monitoring the situation every day and following government guidelines,” a Toyota spokesperson told Automotive News Europe, but he did not disclose how many vehicles would be affected by the suspension.

The news is another blow for Toyota, which has twice cut global production targets in 2023 and canceled new orders for vehicles including the LandCruiser 70 and 300 range as it struggles to meet demand.

In January, Toyota said the effects of a microprocessor shortage forced it to cut nearly 150,000 units from its projected target of 9.3 million units, the cuts affecting models including Camry, CH-R, Prius, RAV4 and Lexus models including the IS. and LS, NX, and UX.

Domestically, the RAV4 has been the subject of long waits from customers with hybrid-powered models particularly affected by Toyota’s production problems. As many factories across Asia remained idle during the COVID-19 period, demand banks for the popular SUV continued to grow, resulting in wait times of up to 10 months, depending on the variable.

Toyota faced another blow to its production targets in June when it announced it would cut another 50,000 units from its global production forecast. Citing semiconductor supply issues and spare parts supply disruptions, the Japanese company apologized to its customers, saying it was difficult to predict when production levels would return to normal.

“It remains difficult to look ahead due to the shortage of semiconductors and the spread of COVID-19. There is a possibility that the production plan will be lower,” Toyota said in a recent statement.

“However, we will closely examine the supply of spare parts to reduce the sudden drop in production, and we will continue to make every effort to deliver as many vehicles to our customers as possible as soon as possible.”

In Japan, Toyota suspended production at its plant in Motomichi in July affecting models including the all-new electric bZ4X, GR Yaris and Lexus LC. It also closed its Takaoka plant, where the Kluger and RAV4 are produced, for two weeks.

Other amenities, including Tahara (Lexus LS, IS, RC and NX), Iwate (C-HR, Yaris and Yaris Cross), Miyagi Ohira (Yaris Cross and Corolla), as well as Fujimatsu and Yoshiwara (Lexus LX, Toyota Land Cruiser 70) Series and 300) were also affected by the slowdown.

Domestically, Toyota Australia told GoAuto News that production cuts would continue to affect new vehicle delivery times, but that it was doing “everything possible” to deliver the vehicles to its customers as quickly as possible.

Toyota Australia continues to work closely with our global production team to support our dealers and customers. Together with our parent company, we are doing our best to attract customers to new Toyota vehicles as quickly as possible,” a company spokesperson said.

“We ask customers seeking an update on their individual orders to contact their local/preferred dealer, who is best to assist. We apologize to customers who have experienced delays and sincerely thank them for their patience.”

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