Toyota plant shutdown happened during system update, sources say

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A malfunction that shut down all of Toyota Motor Corp’s plants in Japan on Tuesday happened during an update of the automaker’s parts ordering system, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

The world’s top-selling automaker has not given any details of what went wrong to cause the closure and a company spokesperson on Wednesday was unable to say whether the glitch happened during a system update.

Toyota, which restarted operations at its Japanese assembly plants on Wednesday, has seen production recovering this year. The full-day outage at its domestic plants could be equivalent to $356 million in revenue, Reuters calculations based on output data and financial reporting showed.

The company said its global sales had risen 8% in July from the same month a year earlier to a record 859,506 vehicles. It also reported a 15% increase in global production in that month.

The automaker has now posted year-on-year increases in global sales for six straight months, and production increases for seven, highlighting its recovery from last year’s supply chain snarlups and COVID-19 containment measures.

Both figures include Toyota’s Lexus luxury brand.

Sales in China fell 15% in July, contrasting with stronger sales in Japan, the United States and Europe. Domestic sales rose 35% and those in the U.S. increased by 8%.

Numbers for August – which will not be available until next month – are likely to be hit by Tuesday’s output suspension.

Toyota’s global production is likely to reach around 10.2 million vehicles this year, topping 10 million for the first time, Nikkei reported late on Wednesday. Toyota declined to comment on the projection.

The company continues to investigate the cause of Tuesday’s plant malfunction, but has said it was not due to a cyber attack.

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