Toyota extends output halt, reduction to next week on floods
TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp said on Friday it would keep its three Thai factories suspended and output reduced in Japan next week, while also cutting production in North America, South Africa and some Asian markets due to the shortage of parts from flooded Thai suppliers.
The move was widely expected after rivals Nissan Motor Co and Honda Motor Co said the impact from the floods would last at least another week for Nissan and months for Honda, whose car plant is under water.
Thailand's worst floods in 50 years have affected hundreds of manufacturers and cut off the supply of about 100 components for Toyota, Thailand's top automaker with a production capacity of 650,000 vehicles a year at its three factories there.
Toyota, the world's biggest auto maker, said plans beyond November 14 will be determined as the situation develops.
Mazda Motor Corp, meanwhile, said it had secured replacement parts to enable a restart of production of passenger vehicles at its Thai joint venture plant with Ford Motor Co on November 14, first on one shift only. From November 21, work will return to normal with both shifts.
The 50-50 plant, in the Rayong district, also makes Ford and Mazda pickup trucks, but replacement parts have not been found yet, a Mazda spokesman said.
So far, a suspension of Toyota's three factories in Thailand will result in lost output of 69,000 vehicles between October 10 to November 5, and of 22,000 vehicles from a reduction in work in Japan between October 24 and November 5, a spokeswoman said.
Japanese automakers dominate the southeast Asian car market and the stoppages are set to eat into their profits just as they were beginning to ramp up output after supply disruptions from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in northeast Japan.
Many car makers had also recently announced a slew of new investments in the region to meet booming demand.
Honda Motor withdrew its annual earnings guidance on Monday, blaming the floods in part.
Shares of Toyota, which will unveil its quarterly earnings on November 8, ended up 1.9 percent in Tokyo, in line with the benchmark Nikkei average.
(Writing by Muralikumar Anantharaman; Editing by Miyoung Kim and Michael Watson)
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