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July 26, 2021

Toyota halts production in Thailand and Japan due to virus

Virus at a parts supplier has shut all Toyota assembly plants in Thailand while a separate outbreak has affected a factory in Japan.

By Graeme Roberts

Toyota Motor has suspended vehicle production in Thailand for most of this week as a key supplier struggled to fight an outbreak of coronavirus infections.

Officials confirmed production at the three vehicle assembly plants in Thailand, which have a combined annual production capacity of 760,000 vehicles, would be suspended until Thursday, 29 July due to parts shortage.

Thai Arrow Products Company, a supplier of wire harnesses and related parts owned by Japan’s Yazaki Corporation, has suspended operations at a key plant near Bangkok for 14 days to carry out sanitisation operations following an outbreak of the virus.

The news came shortly after the Federation of Thai Industries announced a sharp rise in vehicle production in the country in June, of over 74% to 74,574 units, and of over 39% to 844,601 units in the first half of the year, reflecting surging export orders due to pent-up global vehicle demand.

According to reports, Toyota has yet to decide on which plants in Thailand will resume operations on 29 July as it will also need to check for infection rates within its own workforce, as well as the availability of parts.

Toyota added its Toyota Auto Body Company subsidiary would also suspend production at a plant in Japan, which makes five models including the Alphard and Vellfire minibuses, for five days from late July “due to a parts shortage resulting from the spread of COVID-19 in southeast Asia”.

With the Delta and Alpha variants of the coronavirus spreading rapidly across the region, more supply chain disruption for Japanese automakers is expected.

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