Toyota plant shutdown happened during system update

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

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

Toyota, which restarted operations at its assembly plants on Wednesday, has seen production recovering this year. The full-day outage at its plants could be equivalent to $356m (R6.61bn) in revenue, a 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 carmaker 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 snarl-ups 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 US and Europe. Domestic sales rose 35% and those in the US 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 about 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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