ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Automobiles

Toyota halts half of Japan production lines after powerful quake

Chip supplier Renesas restarts plant with eye toward full recovery in a week

A Yaris compact car is assembled at a Toyota Motor factory in Japan. (Photo by Konosuke Urata)

TOKYO -- Toyota Motor will halt production at 14 Japanese assembly lines for up to four days through Saturday, after a weekend earthquake in northeastern Japan disrupted operations at the automaker's suppliers.

The suspension begins as early as Wednesday and affects half of Toyota's 28 lines at nine factories nationwide, including subsidiaries such as Hino Motors. These lines are involved in producing a wide range of models, from the Harrier sport utility vehicle to the luxury Lexus brand.

Some parts makers for Toyota suffered damage from the 7.3-magnitude quake, which rocked Fukushima, Miyagi and other prefectures on Saturday. The automaker said its supply of semiconductors was unaffected.

Toyota did not disclose the number of vehicles likely to be affected. But based on its output from 2019, the company could suffer a decline of roughly 5,000 to 6,000 vehicles per day.

The company has yet to decide on restarting the 14 lines next week, and will base the decision on conditions at its suppliers.

Other big Japanese automakers have no plans to adjust output over the Saturday quake. Nissan Motor's engine factory in Fukushima did not suffer damage. Mazda Motor also said it has no plans to reduce output due to damage at suppliers.

Honda Motor, Suzuki Motor, Mitsubishi Motors and Subaru plan to continue production as usual as well.

Many automakers were forced to halt production lines in Japan and abroad following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, owing to the impact on Renesas Electronics, a key supplier of automotive chips. Toyota suspended all production in Japan and did not return to full capacity for roughly a month.

But the automaker says its chip supply is not a concern this time around. Renesas started resuming production in stages on Wednesday. Renesas said Tuesday it was resuming production in stages at its main Naka plant northeast of Tokyo, after confirming the condition of its clean room. The factory had been shut down as a precaution.

Shipments of completed products in inventory restarted on Monday. The chipmaker, a major supplier of automotive semiconductors, expects to return to pre-quake output levels within about a week.

Renesas had shifted some production that was previously outsourced to foundries like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to the Naka plant in response to a global shortage of automotive chips.

The facility was also preparing to make auto semiconductors for an Asahi Kasei group company that was forced to halt production after a massive plant fire last October.

Saturday's quake dealt far less of a blow to Renesas than the 2011 disaster, which heavily damaged the Naka factory and resulted in almost all partially finished products being discarded. It took Renesas three months just to resume production, and about 180 days to restore capacity.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends January 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more