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Toyota partially halts 4 North American plants amid plastics shortage

Texas blackouts disrupt supply chain, forcing stoppage till early April

Production was paused at Toyota's Kentucky plant for several days in early March. (Photo courtesy of Toyota)

NEW YORK -- Toyota Motor suspended some production at four plants in the U.S. and Mexico, Nikkei learned Wednesday, owing to a disruption in supplies of plastic components and other parts after winter storm-related power outages in Texas.

Some of the plants appear to have begun adjusting production around Thursday last week. The plants in question are expected to be idled for roughly 10 days until early April.

Toyota's North American production schedule will remain in flux after that date, so the full impact of the stoppages on output remains unclear.

The affected factories include one in the U.S. state of Kentucky that assembles Camry sedans and other models. This location had halted production for a few days earlier this month.

The decision will also extend to two plants in the Mexican states of Guanajuato and Baja California, which make the Tacoma pick-up truck. Because of these production stoppages, an engine factory in the U.S. state of West Virginia will partially suspend operations.

The Texas blackouts interrupted supplies of some materials made by DuPont and other chemical makers for components including seats, supplier sources said. Such interruptions typically result in time-consuming changes to material inputs and equipment maintenance.

The effect on the supply chain could last several months by some estimates, adding a new hurdle to efforts to bring auto production back to pre-pandemic levels.

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