Toyota monitoring suppliers that may have trouble boosting production to meet its needs

Article by Christian A., on August 10, 2012

Toyota Motor Corp. is monitoring fewer than 20 suppliers that have difficulty in increasing production to cope with the automaker’s requirements, according to Robert Young, Toyota’s North American purchasing chief. Toyota is aiming to break records in auto production in each of the two years that are approaching.

Young said in an interview that he is monitoring several suppliers, which are operating 6 or 7 days a week. He said that the suppliers are “struggling” and are “not sustainable.” He said that the company is looking into their ability to maintain the proper maintenance schedules.

Young explained that several of these suppliers (which supply fewer than 10 parts) reduced their capacity by so much due to the recession that they would have to make big investments to cope with increasing production schedules.

The other suppliers in this group have experienced problems with their plants’ operations and can boost productivity without having to make huge investments. Young said that Toyota has asked these suppliers to indicate the measures they will take to resolve the issue.

In addition, Toyota is sending engineers to their plants to conduct on-site inspections. Toyota hopes to set a production record and build up to 1.8 million vehicles in North America this year. Toyota also aims to set records in 2013 and 2014. He said that Toyota is giving suppliers an updated production estimate this week. [source: Automotive News - sub. required]

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