TOKYO -- Massive flooding in Thailand is denting Toyota output at Japanese factories that ship some of the company’s best selling exports, including the Prius hybrid, to the United States.
Toyota is eliminating overtime at five Japanese assembly plants from Monday through Friday to prepare for a possible shortage of parts imported from Thailand, where widespread flooding in recent weeks has derailed the supply chain. Toyota expects to lose 6,000 units of Japanese output.
Toyota Motor Corp. had been operating the plants with overtime in an attempt to recoup output lost after Japan’s March 11 earthquake shuttered domestic factories for weeks.
The slowdown affects plants producing such vehicles as the Prius, iQ, Land Cruiser, Corolla, Scion tC and RAV4. It also hits plants making the Lexus LS, GS, IS, GX, ES, HS and RX.
Toyota spokesman Dion Corbett said the company did not have a breakdown of how many exports to the United States might be affected. But the number is expected to be small. The 6,000 units of total lost production represent only around 10 percent of domestic production.
Toyota said it will reassess the overtime schedule after Friday.
Flooding in Thailand has paralyzed Japanese automakers operating there.
Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda and Mitsubishi have suspended assembly -- either because suppliers’ plants or their own factories are inundated by the rising waters.
Toyota’s three plants in Thailand have not been damaged by the flooding. But they have been closed since Oct. 10 because of supplier disruption.
Honda’s plant in the ancient capital of Ayutthaya, with an annual capacity of 240,000 vehicles, has been the worst hit. Floodwaters inundated the plant on Oct. 8, forcing the carmaker to evacuate workers and suspend operations indefinitely.
Today, Honda suspended output at a plant in Malaysia because of a shortage of parts from Thailand. Honda said it was also watching for potential impact on other overseas plants.