Toyota has announced this week that it would cut production worldwide by 40 percent in September due to a computer chip shortage.
The Japanese automaker said the reduced production will affect its plants around the world, slicing its September targets of about 900,000 cars to 540,000, Car and Driver noted. According to Toyota North America executive vice-president Bob Carter in an interview with Bloomberg, the company's production woes are not solely due to the chip shortage, though he admitted it was a major factor behind the decision.
These changes, he said, will begin this month as the company's North American facilities will make about 170,000 lesser vehicles in August and September.
Toyota released a statement describing how "COVID-19 and unexpected events" affected its supply chain that further dampened its output in North American plants. The automaker said countermeasures have been developed to further minimize the impact, as they project a reduction of up to 90,000 vehicles in August and 80,000 in September with no job losses.
Toyota Will Not Cut 2022 Toyota Tundra Production
Despite Toyota's production cuts in North American plants, one U.S. facility will not reduce its output: Toyota's plant in San Antonio, Texas that is currently building the Tacoma and is set to put together the much-awaited 2022 Toyota Tundra.
Toyota spokesperson Melissa Sparks told the San Antonio Express News that the company needs to follow and complete its production timeline and schedule for the new Tundra. Sparks added that they are prioritizing the computer chips for its San Antonio assembly dedicated for the 2022 Tundra "to meet those milestones."
The 2022 Toyota Tundra, which is set for rollout in the fall, offers a twin-turbo V6 iForce MAX engine, coil-spring suspension, and impressive design details and powerful off-road capabilities.
Globally, the production cut will affect Toyota's 14 plants in Japan, and additional facilities in Europe, China, and other countries, the New York Times reported.
Ford, G.M., Volkswagen Also Reducing Vehicle Output
This comes after major automakers, including Ford, General Motors and Volkswagen, also reduced output in their automobile facilities. This is due to the struggles faced by the semiconductor industry in restoring the production of auto chips as a result of the pandemic. Toyota had been unaffected by the move at first because the company stockpiled its computer chips and components after they faced supply challenges since the 2011 Japan earthquake.
While the car manufacturers expect the chip shortages to ease by the second half of this year, the New York Times report further said, the Toyota announcement hinted a longer burden that could last up to next year.
Ford is set to idle its plant in Kansas City, Missouri, which builds its top seller F-150 trucks, due to the shortage in chips and components, while G.M. halted production of trucks in its North American plants at certain times of the month also due to the shortage. These include G.M. facilities in Lansing, Michigan and Spring Hill, Tennessee.