microchip shortagehas heavily impacted the car industry, with many dealerships seeing reduced inventories of new cars.
But the good news is that at least one of Toyota’s vehicles won’t be affected—the production of the 2022 Toyota
Tundrawill go on as scheduled.
How Toyota has changed its production strategy
Up until now, Toyota has been able to keep its production plants running pretty smoothly, despite the global microchip shortage.
As Car and Driver reported, one reason is that the carmaker made a strategic shift after the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Toyota started to rely more on stockpiling components for use during emergencies. Previously, the brand had been using a "just in time" component delivery system.
The updated system includes using a database called Rescue that contains information about thousands of parts stored at 650,000 supplier sites. This is meant to help the automaker bypass bottlenecks if a supplier is put out of commission.
The system works well until more than one supplier gets knocked out, which is why Toyota must now reduce production.
Changes coming to Toyota plants starting in September
Toyota has announced it will dramatically reduce its output starting in September, cutting that month’s planned production of 900,000 to about 540,000. Some of Toyota’s North American facilities will start cutting production in August, building between 140,000 and 170,000 fewer vehicles in the two months.
Even though the microchip shortage is partly to blame for this, it’s not the entire reason that the carmaker decided to cut production. Toyota said that COVID-19 and other unexpected events have disrupted the supply chain and caused additional shortages.
The 2022 Toyota Tundra will be produced as scheduled
One Toyota facility in North America won’t be affected by the production cuts—the San Antonio plant that produces the Toyota Tacoma. The plant is about to start on the 2022 Toyota Tundra.
The 2022 Tundra has been highly anticipated. According to Toyota, the company needs to finish up current model production within a certain timeline to meet the schedule for the new Tundra. It will be prioritizing microchips for the San Antonio plant.
What’s new with the Toyota Tundra?
The Toyota Tundra will finally see big upgrades after more than a decade.
Toyota has not released much information about the new Tundra besides a few photos. According to
Motor Authority, Toyota has confirmed that the Tundra will have a power-sliding rear window that retracts down into the back of the cab.
The interior will feature a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system and speakers mounted on the A-pillars. The Tundra will also have a new iForce Max powertrain that will most likely replace the current 5.7-liter V-8 iForce setup.
Other carmakers have been impacted by the chip shortage
Toyota is not the only carmaker implementing production changes because of recent events.
According to the
Wall Street Journal, Ford and General Motors recently announced they will be scheduling more downtime at North American facilities due to COVID-19-related restrictions overseas.
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