Toyota halts production in Japan after steelworks blast

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The world’s biggest carmaker Toyota has been forced to cease all production in Japan next week after a huge explosion at a steelworks left it short of parts.

Toyota produced around 40% of the 10.2 million cars it made last year in Japan.

But production lines will shut next week for six days following the explosion last month at Japan’s Aichi steelworks, which produces specialist steel for engine, transmission and chassis components.

Overseas production lines, including its main UK base at Burnaston in Derbyshire and its engine plant in Deeside, north Wales, are unaffected by the shutdown.

But Japan’s plants make all the Toyota Prius lines as well as some Lexus models.

Aichi, 33% owned by Toyota, aims to restart operations by the end of March although the company is likely to work with other steelmakers. 

Toyota had already suspended some parts exports and stopped overtime work at Japan plants following the blast, which put the blast furnace at Aichi’s Chita plant out of action. 

The closure hampers the giant’s efforts to boost Japanese production to around 14,000 cars per day.

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February 2, 2016 |
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