Toyota will resume production in Japan on Wednesday after a system failure

Tokyo/Hong Kong

Toyota will resume operations at its Japanese assembly plants on Wednesday after a 24-hour hiatus due to disruption to its finely tuned supply chain.

The world’s largest automaker measured by sales said its 14 auto plants in the country had shut down operations on Tuesday because a system outage that began Monday prevented the company from processing orders for auto parts.

Production is expected to return to normal at all 14 plants in Japan from the start of the second shift on Wednesday, the company said in a statement.

“It is our understanding that the system malfunction was not caused by a cyber attack. However, we will continue to investigate the cause,” said Toyota (TM). “We would like to apologize again to our customers, suppliers and related parties for any inconvenience caused by the suspension of operations.”

Toyota pioneered ‘just-in-time’ production, which is based on the delivery of parts to assembly plants in the right quantities, just before they are needed. The system saves warehouse space and money, but is vulnerable to disruption if a link in the chain is broken.

It was not immediately clear how much production was lost. According to Reuters calculations, Toyota’s factories in Japan together account for about a third of the automaker’s global production.

Toyota delivered nearly 10.5 million cars last year. By comparison, Volkswagen (VLKAF), which typically competes with the Japanese company for the global sales crown, sold 8.3 million vehicles in 2022.

Last year, Toyota was forced to halt Japanese production after a cyber-attack on one of its suppliers led to a system failure and a similar problem in sourcing auto parts. The suspension lasted one day.

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