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Toyota Plants Back Online After Parts Shortage

Feb. 14, 2016
An explosion at supplier and affiliate Aichi Steel had the automaker scrambling to find substitute suppliers. 

TOKYO—Toyota said Monday it had resumed operations at all vehicle assembly and parts plants in Japan after its longest domestic production suspension since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The world's top automaker said earlier this month that it would temporarily stop all domestic vehicle production from February 8 through 13 due to a components shortage following an explosion at supplier and affiliate Aichi Steel.

Additionally, Toyota said production at its "directly owned and operated" plants in Japan that make parts and components would also stop on February 8 for one day, but later extended the stoppage to February 13.

"Toyota would like to confirm that production recommenced today as scheduled," it said in a statement Monday.

A total of 29 vehicle assembly and parts plants resumed operation on Monday as components were obtained from other steel manufacturers as well as other Aichi Steel production lines, company spokeswoman Kayo Doi told AFP.

Earlier this month, Toyota said that the six-day domestic production suspension would be the longest since a 10-day stoppage following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of northeastern Japan.

The company's production target for 2016 -- 10.196 million vehicles globally, of which 4.134 million are to be made domestically -- would not be affected as the company "will boost operations on holidays" to catch up with the target, Doi said.

Aichi Steel, which produces speciality steel products among other items, was hit by an explosion on January 8 which badly damaged parts of its production site.

It expects to return to full operation in March.

Toyota does not disclose its daily production plans, but the firm has said it produced 14,000 units a day in 2015.

The company, which surpassed Volkswagen in 2015 to keep the title of world's top-selling automaker, produced more than four million cars in Japan last year and over 10 million worldwide.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2016

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