Toyota Officials Say North American Plants Will Likely Stop Production

by Gabe Bullard on April 4, 2011

A Toyota Motor Company spokesperson says reports from Monday afternoon about impending plant shutdowns were not entirely accurate.

Jim Wiseman says North American Toyota manufacturers will likely face a shortage of parts from Japan, and that will likely lead to some or all of the 13 factories halting production until new parts arrive, but no further decisions have been made.

“We’ve said it’s likely and we continue to think that,” he says. “But beyond that, we don’t really have anything to add at this point until we’re sure how to deal with shortages that may occur.”

Wiseman says it’s not known how long any potential shutdowns will last.┬áThat depends on how severe the parts shortage is.

“All automakers use tier one supplies that directly send us parts. And those suppliers, in turn, use tier two or tier three suppliers tat supply them. So this is a very complicated situation and we’re talking about thousands of suppliers if you look down to tier two or tier three and so forth,” he says.

Wiseman says no layoffs are planned, and workers at shut down factories will still be able to show up for work and receive additional training. Workers may also take vacation or unpaid leave during any breaks in production. Wiseman further says many dealerships have ample stocks of Toyotas, and a shortage of vehicles cannot be predicted at this time.

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