Due to the struggles related to disruptions among autoparts suppliers in Japan that Toyota Motor Corp. faces, the company disclosed that the scheduled launch of its compact Scion iQ vehicle model this summer could be delayed this year. According to Scion vice president Jack Hollis at an interview during the New York motor show, details of the schedule are expected after Japan’s "Golden Week" holidays, which run from April 28 to May 9.
The disaster that hit Japan last March 11 forced the company to suspend production at all its plants in the country. The disaster also forced the company to limit production in its North American operations. Moreover, carmakers have to search for suppliers of vehicle components especially electronic parts and semiconductors as their inventories diminish. The company plans to resume operations in its factories in Japan at their normal production rates on May 10.
Hollis added that the company may have to delay the new iQ’s launch, which is still “really important” to the brand according to him, until it gets confirmation from Japan on production. In addition, Hollis forecasted that the Scion will still be able to meet its sales goal for this year of around 55,000 and 65,000 units despite the delay. The iQ was unveiled last year and was considered as a competitor to the Smart car of Daimler, Hollis stated. He added that Scion is aimed at the younger consumer groups, with median age of 35 years old.