The shortage of spare parts that originate from suppliers devastated by the recent Japan earthquake is already affecting Toyota and Lexus dealerships in the United States.
Dealers received a memo from Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., saying that although most spare parts operations were running after a four-day shutdown, “damage sustained by certain parts suppliers will interrupt their normal production.”
Toyota confirmed that this will result in a “shortage of 233 parts numbers” for 30 days at the least, adding that it may event take longer. Most cars have about 30,000 parts and the Toyota parts inventory has about 300,000 active part numbers.
The spare parts that are in short supply now are mostly shock absorbers and body panel and pillar sub-assemblies, says Autonews. As a result, Toyota Motor Sales will not be able to fill any orders of short-inventory parts to replenish dealer stock. If a dealer has an emergency repair order for a customer, however, Toyota’s U.S. parts depots will release a spare part from their scant inventory.
Toyota will provide a daily update on the number of parts and their delay to its dealers. Toyota spokesman Mike Michels said in a statement to Automotive News that order processing fill rates are still normal as Toyota's supply chain is designed to absorb variation in supplier parts shipments, with the use of safety stock maintained throughout the company’s supply chain.