BLUE SPRINGS • The microchip shortage and other supply issues that have affected the automotive industry have left few companies unscathed, and Toyota is no exception.
Toyota Motor North America said the COVID-19 pandemic and "unexpected events" with its supply chain have caused the automaker to experience additional microchip shortages in its North American facilities.
Other automakers are taking measures to mitigate the shortage as well. General Motors announced last month it was shutting down a couple of truck plants in the coming weeks. Nissan, starting Monday of this week, began a two-week shutdown of its Smyrna, Tennessee plant.
Toyota isn't shutting down any plants, but it is temporarily halting some production in North America.
"While the situation remains fluid and complex, our manufacturing and supply chain teams have worked diligently to develop countermeasures to minimize the impact on production," the company said in a statement.
Toyota projects it will see a reduction of 60,000 to 90,000 vehicles in August and 80,000 vehicles in September.
The company added, "the situation remains very fluid. We do not anticipate any impact to employment at this time."
For Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi in Blue Springs, the 2,400 team members will see 12 days of nonproduction, beginning Friday, followed by another nonproduction day on Monday. The remaining two weeks will be taken off in September.
Team members – who will retain all benefits – have three options: They can take paid time off, take days off without pay or come to plant and do some cross training, Kaizen training or participate in community volunteering activities.
"We'll be looking to do volunteerism at the plant, like packing backpacks that we did recently," said Kathryn Ragsdale, Toyota Mississippi corporate communications manager. "But the biggest thing is that nobody loses their jobs. And that's been a consistent thing with Toyota, from the downturn and recently with COVID, providing a stable environment for our team members."