Toyota: Supply of cars will be Still reeling from damage to its plants caused by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March, Toyota Motor said this week in a memo that its supply of new cars could become "significantly impacted" by the summer, the Wall Street Journal reports

The latest announcement from the world's biggest carmaker comes on the heels of its decision to shutter a majority of its plants in Japan and to slow production in the U.S. as it grapples with disruptions to its supply chain. While analysts had forecast the company's supply chain would be hurt by the destruction resulting from the natural disasters, the memo is the first time the company affirmed that supplier issues will last into the third quarter.

"What we don't know are vehicle production levels for May through July," Bob Carter, head of the company's Toyota brand in the U.S., wrote in the memo. "The potential exists that supply of new vehicles could be significantly impacted this summer."

According to the memo, Toyota's North American plants will take an "extended Easter break" starting April 21. In the U.S., factories have been ordered to operate on a reduced workload schedule as the carmakers grows increasingly concerned that components shortages could soon reach the factories and halt production.

In the memo, Carter asserted: "Today we have good levels of inventory, but inventory will be getting tighter. Toyota will be producing new vehicles at significantly reduced levels."
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  1. These are the kinds of events that no procurement team no matter how great can predict. The main thing is for firms to remain proactive and alert so as not to over promise to consumers.