Toyota halts orders for Harrier SUV due to output delay

Toyota logo is seen in Tokyo Motor Show in Tokyo
Toyota logo is seen in Tokyo Motor Show in Tokyo, Japan October 24, 2019. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun/File Photo

TOKYO, July 25 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) has stopped taking orders for its current Harrier sports utility vehicle model, a spokesperson said on Monday, as output was delayed by pandemic-linked curbs and a world semiconductor shortage.

The Nikkei business daily reported earlier on Monday that Toyota had cancelled "some" orders for the Harrier due to production disruptions caused by the COVID-19 lockdown in Shanghai.

Customers are being asked to switch their orders to a newer Harrier scheduled to be released in September, the report said.

The Toyota spokesperson would not comment on the plan, saying "customers and dealers are communicating one-on-one (on making alternative purchase)."

Toyota is considering the possibility of its dealers covering the price difference, since the newer model is likely to cost about 100,000 yen ($733.35) more, according to the Nikkei report.

The automaker has disclosed neither the price nor the improvements of the newer model.

It is believed to be the first time that an order received by Toyota has been scrapped due to an issue at the carmaker, the report said, citing multiple unnamed dealers.

About 74,000 units of Harrier were sold domestically last year, according to the Japan Automobile Dealers Association.

The report comes as Toyota struggles to shrug off the impacts of COVID-19-related lockdowns and the semiconductor shortage, which have strained its supply chain and compelled it to cut back vehicle production.

Toyota said last week its global production plan for August would be scaled back by 18% from what it had told its suppliers at the beginning of the year.

Toyota said earlier this month it was forced to stop taking orders of the Land Cruiser SUV because orders exceeded its production capacity.

($1 = 136.3600 yen)

Reporting by Satoshi Sugiyama and Maki Shiraki, Editing by Louise Heavens and Bernadette Baum

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