Toyota update on damage done by the Japanese earthquake
When the earthquake first hit, Toyota had a difficult time communicating with their faculties in the hard-hit northern portions of Japan. Toyota has two production facilities in the area, one run by Central Motors Co. in Miyagi prefecture and the other operated by Kanto Auto Works in the Iwate prefecture. Central Motors is responsible for the production of the Toyota Yaris 2-door for the US market while the Kanto facility produces the sedan version of the Yaris along with the Scion xB and xD for the US. Each of those two plants sustained only minor damages with the Miyagi plant having damage to some pipes and walls (no structural damages) while the Iwate facility’s main issue was machinery shifting around during the quake.
One plant that was not so fortunate was the Primearth EV Energy Co battery plant, which is operated by Toyota and Panasonic and is one of the locations where Toyota builds the batteries for the popular Prius hybrid. Toyota does not yet know how much damage is done or how much work will be needed to get the factory back up and running, but Toyota has halted production at all 28 of their facilities while the company focuses on the relief effort. The stoppage affects all facilities in Japan and will last until at least Wednesday (March 16th). Once the factories hit by the earthquake begin to move towards production, we are likely to get more updates as to just how bad the damage is inside of the Toyota plants.
The good news is that Toyota has stated that all of their employees in the area are safe and healthy, with no reported injuries or deaths. The automakers first relief move was sending a convoy of trucks packing water, fuel, and supplies to the northern areas pummeled by the earthquake and tsunami. Toyota has also donated 300 million yen – or about $3.7 million US dollars to help with the national relief effort as Japan tries to dig out from the string of natural disasters.
Sources: Automotive News, Toyota
Other Japanese industry news:
Honda issues a statement on damages caused by the earthquake and tsunami
US auto industry hit by supplier shortages in wake of Japanese Tsunami
Toyota stock trading in New York affected by Japan earthquake
Toyota suspends production to honor tsunami victims, place safety first