IC chip shortage seen behind Toyota’s planned output cut

Posted on 27 May 2021

Toyota Motor, Japan’s largest auto maker, has warned its auto parts suppliers that the company has adjusted its vehicle output plan for June lower by about 21,000 units, or about 6% to 290,000 units from its initial plan set in April, citing the shortage of auto semiconductors, Mysteel Global has learned. The automaker anticipates an uptick in its July and August production, however.

 

A Toyota official confirmed that among its total of 29 vehicle assembly lines at 14 plants across Japan, three lines at two plants will be shut for three to eight days in June because of the shortage of “auto components”. The two plants are located in northern Japan in Iwate and Miyagi prefectures.

The official did not identify which particular components were in short supply, but sources from a components supplier in Nagoya, central Japan, were sure that the auto giant was referring to the delay in semiconductor deliveries plaguing all automotive firms globally.

Other domestic automakers such as Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors have also adjusted their June output plans lower by about 30,000 units in total, with the result that Japan’s domestic vehicle output in the coming month seems certain to decline, according to sources.

“But most likely the downward adjustment in their plans will be only temporary, because automakers are expecting the shortage of chips to be resolved in summer,” a Tokyo-based auto sheet trader explained, suggesting this was probably the reason why Toyota plans higher output in July and August.

Toyota’s domestic auto manufacturing plan over Jun-Aug

Month

Total Production

Units/day

June

about 290,000 units

about 13,200 units

July

about 320,000 units

about 14,500 units

August

about 230,000 units

about 13,500 units

Source: Japan’s auto parts suppliers

The trader also noted that although Toyota is adjusting its June output forecast lower, the average production per day remains above 13,000 units – a level that is not low and is rather stable. “We don’t expect steel consumption by the automakers to decline largely in summer but will stay firm and will continue contributing to improved domestic steel demand,” he predicted.

The latest data from the Japan Iron & Steel Federation showed that carbon steel orders booked by the Japanese auto sector during January-March totalled 2.02 million tonnes, up 2.9% on year, while those for special steel for automotive use totalled 1.19 million tonnes, up 12.8% on year.

Source : Mysteel Global