Monday, February 1, 2016

Toyota Temporarily Halts All Production

As reported on Bloomberg Business, an explosion at a steel plant in Japan has resulted in Toyota suspending all production in Japan, February 8th through the the 15th.
Toyota’s Japan shutdown springs from the Jan. 8 explosion at Aichi Steel Corp.’s Chita plant, which supplies specialty steel for engine, transmission and chassis components. The lost output underscores the fragility of the automaker’s supply chain, which was disrupted by Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami, even as it leads the industry in sales.

“It’s always challenging to deal with something like this because maintaining a lean production system is Toyota’s goal,” said Koji Endo, an analyst at Advanced Research Japan. For the Prius and some SUV models exported to the U.S., “supply and demand is relatively tight, so if they have to reduce output, that’s going to be a problem.”
Here's a little but about the Aichi company and plant including, at the top, a PDF press release from Aichi detailing what happened.

A brief history of Aichi from their site...
History of foundation
It was in January 1934 that the Company was founded when Toyoda Automatic Loom Works Ltd. (the current Toyota Industries Corporation) established its “Steel Production Department” for the research and creation of specialty steel for manufacturing of cars.
For a description of the early history of the company, we provide a brief introduction in the preface of our Company's 30-year Chronicle issued in 1970.
And a few more images of the plant from the Aichi web site.