Toyota Motor said Friday it was forced to shut factories in Thailand owing to a lack of parts. The company said the shortage caused it to temporarily close three plants.
The company said it first closed down its vehicle production facility in Ban Pho Tuesday. A Day after, it decided to temporarily shut its Samrong and Gateway manufacturing plants. The company did not state how the temporary closures would affect its 550,000 production capacity in Thailand.
"The production operation for the next week will be determined at a later stage," Toyota said.
Toyota said it was no longer able to reasonably continue operations at the factories due to a shortage of parts, which it blamed on supply chain disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Toyota said that the shortage had also led to a decision to idle more factories in Japan. The company said it plans to suspend production at its Aichi Prefecture production plant July 29. The actual length of the temporary shutdown will depend on the availability of parts, the company said.
Thailand is Asia's fourth-largest automotive assembly and export center. Companies such as Toyota, Honda and China's Great Wall Motor all have major manufacturing facilities in the country. Automotive manufacturing accounts for about 10% of Thailand's gross domestic product and it provides jobs for hundreds of thousands of local residents.
Manufacturing and exports in Thailand have dramatically slowed down in recent weeks due to a resurgence of new Covid-19 cases, fueled by the more contagious Delta variant. A series of coronavirus clusters had also been detected in Thailand factories last month, raising concerns for the prospects of the country's export sector.
Before the surge in new cases, Thailand had depended on the rebound in car sales and tourism to help it restart its economy. In June, domestic car sales increased by 15% compared with the same period last year. Analysts said the recovery may be short-lived given the re-imposition of lockdown down measures because of the recent surge in cases.
On Thursday, Thailand reported a record 13,655 new cases and 87 deaths. About 93% of the recorded cases in the county occurred after April this year as the nation attempted to reopen its borders to travelers.