The reason? As we wrote, “Nobody has a clue just how much the Japanese earthquake is going to impact Toyota’s business.”
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We specifically questioned the estimates being provided about when Toyota would resume full production. And more than a month later, Toyota confesses it still isn’t sure…
Toyota Motor expects production to be disrupted for another 7 to 8 months before output returns to normal, with the impact on earnings still unknown.
In a news conference Friday, company President Akio Toyoda says domestic operations should return to normal in July, but overseas plants could take longer, perhaps till August.
“We expect the production to normalize, both domestically and internationally, by November or December of this year, to the same level as it was before the earthquake.”
Toyoda declined to provide any guidance on earnings, saying recovery efforts have been hampered by continual aftershocks.
President Akio Toyoda said, “With this many aftershocks, we’ve seen some of the recovery work thrown back to square one many, many times.”
Toyoda’s comments mean total disruption to the world’s top carmaker’s output would be about 9 months since the earthquake struck last month.
Toyota has capacity cuts in place in Japan, North America and China through June 3, and in Europe through the end of May.
Toyoda adds he’s encouraging his suppliers to consider moving some of their operations overseas to hedge against future supply disruptions.
Bottom line: Top carmaker, Toyota, says production levels will return to normal only in November or December, impact on earnings and output still hard to predict.