• Mar 30th 2011 at 2:00PM
  • 12
Production issues in Japan continue three weeks after the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami devastated the island nation. Major Japanese automakers have consistently pushed back plant start-up times and Toyota is no different, with a current forecast of an April 11 or April 14 re-boot. And that's best-case scenario. The automaker said in a statement Tuesday that it was looking into supply issues, adding "depending on vehicle type, there may be a significant impact on our production capabilities."

Automotive News reports that the longest wait time could be for Toyota's Miyagi assembly plant, which makes the Yaris subcompact. Sources tell AN that the plant will likely be down for at least a month, as ruptured gas lines in the facility link to a heavily damaged natural gas plant in the quake-devastated region of Sendai. The automaker is said to be looking at other options to power the otherwise repaired facility. The prolonged shutdown at the Miyagi plant could ultimately affect Toyota's U.S. supply of Yaris models, which only come from that plant.

One factory that has been revitalized is the plant that makes the Prius, Lexus CT 200h and Lexus HS250h. But a source apparently informed AN that a Toyota purchasing executive admits that the facility is only running at half capacity.

Right now, the situation in Japan hasn't had much affect on U.S. vehicle availability, but a prolonged shutdown of supplier plants could be devastating. IHS Global Insight estimates that 30 percent of the world's global auto production could be lost if Japan plants remain closed for six weeks or more.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]


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  • 12 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      And nothing of value was lost.
      • 4 Years Ago
      They are kind of ugly. I don't see that many of them, but when I do I say "Oh, it's one of those!" If it looked like a Leaf (or anything decent) I think it would be popular. I could be wrong, maybe everyone else likes them. To each his (or her) own. By the way, a car that ugly should get at least 60 MPG!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Does anyone care?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Less Yaris' on the road in the future isn't necessarily a bad thing, is it?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good. Why stop with a month?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Oh no not the Yaris !!!!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Surprising they build a small, economy car in Japan. I woud expect them to build them in Thailand or Mexico for export.
      • 4 Years Ago
      awwwwww...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I really like the Yaris 5-door. It's quirky-cute. And that's a good thing. The 3-door looks like the Beetle of our day, and could've been if Toyota really focused on it. For instance, why not make it able to get 45 mpg?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Because the kind of shape a car takes to maximize packaging is not conducive to making big highway numbers. The Yaris (and the Fit, and the Versa) all have a lot of frontal area versus the Civic, Corolla and such. They're a drag, literally, at high speed.

        Add to that the kind of gearing North Americans require to achieve "acceptable" performance and you end up compromising fuel economy.

        Now, they make that back in city mileage, where interstate queens are turning much, much poorer numbers and/or see their six-speed autos going shift-crazy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Poor Skittle, it looks so lonely.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Before the earthquake I read that Toyota was sitting near 100 days supply of the Yaris for the N.A. market. While most of that was probably to facilitate the ramp up of of a new model, I still think they'll have enough for a little while.