Toyota Motor is set to resume production at its assembly plants in Japan on Wednesday after a recent system malfunction forced a halt in domestic production. The disruption not only affected the world’s largest-selling automaker but also caused disruptions across its supply chain.
Toyota’s plans to restart operations across 25 production lines in twelve plants within its home market are scheduled to begin on Wednesday morning. The last two plants will come back online in the afternoon.
The automaker is currently investigating the root cause of the system failure, which prevented Toyota from procuring the necessary components for its production.
This setback impacted approximately one-third of Toyota’s global production capacity. Toyota’s domestic production was in the process of recovering from output cuts attributed to semiconductor shortages.
Toyota experienced a 29 per cent increase in output during the first half of the year, marking its first such growth in two years.
Industry experts have pointed out the challenge Toyota faces in making up for the production loss due to the system outage. One potential strategy could be running extra shifts, although the automaker was already operating at full capacity.
The system failure also had a cascading impact on other companies within the Toyota Group. Toyota Industries, a group firm, reported partial suspension of operations at two engine plants due to the automaker’s system glitch.
This incident shed light on Toyota’s reliance on just-in-time inventory management, which aims to minimize costs but leaves the company vulnerable to supply chain disruptions.
While the exact cause of the malfunction is still being investigated, it underscores the sensitivity of modern manufacturing processes to unforeseen interruptions.
The broader context in Japan includes reports of harassing phone calls received by businesses and government offices, possibly due to geopolitical factors. These calls have been linked to China and the decision to release treated radioactive water from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean.