may halt Japan car output in February due to steel shortage
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[January 30, 2016]
By Naomi Tajitsu
TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp said
on Saturday it may halt production at its domestic plants early next
month due to a steel shortage, following an explosion at a steel plant
operated by one of its affiliates.
The blast an Aichi Steel plant has curbed production of steel
parts, which may impact output at the world's best-selling automaker
which produces around 40 percent of its global output in Japan.
"At the moment, there is enough supply inventory to keep our
domestic plants running until Feb. 6," a Toyota spokesman said,
adding that overtime and weekend shifts for next week had been
"After that, we will be monitoring our supply situation on a
day-by-day basis and decide accordingly."
Aichi Steel said that the Jan. 8 explosion at its Chita plant in
central Japan dented production of special steel parts. It added
that it aimed to resume operations in March.
Toyota, whose vehicle stable includes the Toyota and Lexus brands,
as well as Daihatsu Motor Co minivehicles and Hino Motors trucks,
produced 4.0 million vehicles in Japan in 2015, roughly 46 percent
of which were exported.
A stoppage in production may impact Toyota's plans to produce 4.13
million vehicles in the country this year, including its new Prius
gasoline hybrid, which was launched in the United States this month
and is produced solely in Japan.
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Toyota plans to build 10.2 million vehicles worldwide this year,
after posting worldwide sales of 10.15 million in 2015, beating out
Volkswagen and other automakers to keep its title as the world's
Toyota, which manufactures around 14,000 vehicles a day in Japan,
would not comment on which components were supplied by steel made at
the affected plant.
(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori and Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Nick
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