Earlier we reported that VDL Nedcar in Born, which builds Minis and BMWs X1, had to send people home because of the chip shortage. But Volkswagen, Fiat and Peugeot also reported production delays. Ford joined the list yesterday with the announcement that it will close the Kansas City plant. That is the facility where the immensely popular F-150 pickup truck is produced in the US.
The fact that Toyota was initially less affected by the worldwide lack of computer chips was indirectly due to the nuclear disaster in Fukushima in 2011. At that time, several Japanese manufacturers had to stop production partly due to inventory problems. To prevent such a scenario from happening again, Toyota has since built up larger buffer stocks.
But holding stocks costs money. That is why many car brands had reduced their orders from their suppliers during the corona crisis. And so also with the chip manufacturers. On the other hand, the demand for chips from the manufacturers of computers, laptops and smartphones increased. And voilà: the perfect recipe for a shortage when the market is improving.
Apparently Toyota is now running out of buffer stocks. And the consequences are huge. The announced production decrease means that Toyota will build 540,000 cars in September instead of 900,000. As a result, Europe will receive 40,000 Toyotas less than planned next month. This mainly affects the Land Cruiser and the Prius, but also the Corolla, which was successful in the Netherlands and Belgium. So if you've set your sights on a Corolla, you'll either have to exercise extra patience or buy a stock car quickly.
In a statement, Toyota apologizes to its customers for the situation that has arisen. The company also expects it to achieve its planned annual production for 2021. However, some say the shortage of chips could last into 2022. Because the demand for new cars is increasing strongly worldwide, while several chip manufacturers are struggling with production problems as a result of corona infections among their staff.
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