Toyota suspended two plants in July, affecting the GR Yaris and RAV4

Toyota Motor Corporation Japan has again lowered its upcoming production target in response to the ongoing covid-related disaster with a major supplier.

The latest production suspensions announced will be at the Motomachi plant (July 4-8, and July 11-15), and at the Takaoka plant (July 11-15, and July 18-22) in two weeks.

Vehicles damaged due to the production breakdown will include Toyota GR Yaris and BZ4X and Lexus LC.

More worrying, however, is that the popular Toyota RAV4 has also been affected, and there is currently an 18-month waiting period in Australia as things stand.

TMC said its expected global production for July is now about 800,000 units, about 50,000 less than what suppliers said earlier this year.

“Due to the continuing impact of a COVID-19 outbreak on one of our suppliers, we have decided to extend the operation suspension on some of our plants and production lines,” the company said.

“We apologize again to Toyota for repeatedly adjusting our production plans … and for causing considerable inconvenience to our customers who are waiting for the supply of vehicles, suppliers and other concerned parties.”

TMC last week cut its June factory output for the third time in several weeks, lowering its monthly production target to about 750,000 units.

TMC has been forced to lower its production targets with astonishing regularity by publishing more than a dozen production ‘adjustment’ bulletins this year. Causes stated include chip deficiency and COVID outbreak – both in plants and suppliers.

Toyota still says that group-wide output will be 9.7 million vehicles this Japanese fiscal year (ending March 31), less than the initial estimate of 11 million vehicles expected to return to the global supply chain this year.

Even in this best case scenario, the loss of nearly 1.3 million vehicles from the global allocation would send shockwaves across all major Toyota regions – not all of Australia, where the company has a market share of 20 percent north.

Toyota Australian dealers are navigating an ongoing long-running stock shortage, with some customers being asked to prepare for years of waiting on key models, including the Land Cruiser, RAV4 and Camry.

Print-out guidelines for prospective customer waiting times are being offered by a number of dealers on the East Coast, subject to change based on the Toyota construction process. We’ve seen some of these guidelines in the car forum, others we’ve seen ourselves

Multiple dealers expect customers to expect a waiting period of about 18-24 months for a newly ordered Toyota RAV4 hybrid and 12-24 months for a Toyota Camry hybrid – two vehicles in high demand today due to record fuel prices.

This author knows a lot of people who have mentioned the 18-month wait for their RAV4 hybrid over the last few weeks, so check it out.

The average recommended lead time in the LandCruiser 300 series is similarly listed as 18-24 months – we know that the related Lexus LX also has year-round waiting – whereas the LandCruiser 70 is listed with three to four waiting times. Years, “or never”.

This last figure could be hyperbol and was challenged by TMC.

For its part, Toyota Australia acknowledges the long wait but says there is not really a one-size-fits-all deadline, as each dealership has a separate pipeline.

“The demand for new vehicles is at an unprecedented level. To support strong demand in Australia, Toyota Australia is working closely with our global production team to secure as many cars as possible for our market, ”it said.

“Waiting times vary depending on each customer’s model, variant and specification requirements. The RAV4 Hybrid, the Camry Hybrid, the LandCruiser 70 and the LandCruiser 300 are in high demand and currently have a long wait.

“Due to the growing nature of this situation, Toyota dealers are in the best position to continue providing customer updates on the delivery timeframe for individual orders.”

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