Toyota in the US is switching from factory overtime to factory shutdowns because of the disruption in retail sales caused by its January safety recall.
Mike Goss, a spokesman for Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America said the company has now scaled back overtime and is halting production of some models as it tries to realign manufacturing with demand.
Toyota reported losing 20,000 sales in the last week of January alone after it ordered a “stop-sale” on eight core models, including the Camry.
Goss declined to say how many vehicles will be taken out of inventory by shutdowns at Toyota plants in Georgetown, Kentucky and San Antonio, Texas.
“We’re adjusting production to match sales,” he said. “This is what happens when you have a stop-sale.”
Toyota’s U.S. executives had said at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in Florida on Monday they were planning an aggressive marketing program for March to prevent consumers switching to other brands.
The Toyota executives said most of the inventory of 131,000 vehicles involved in the recall have had their pedals repaired and by the end of February, almost all of them will be back in the showrooms.
Earlier this month, Toyota estimated a loss of 100,000 vehicles in sales globally from the recalls for the financial year to March 31. It said it had no projections for the new year beginning in April.
In a further blow, U.S. regulators said on Monday that customers’ allegations of fatalities related to unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles had reached 34.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda and quality chief Shinichi Sasaki are scheduled to hold a briefing in Tokyo on Wednesday on the progress of the recall of the Prius due to brake problems.
Source: Automotive News