The latest disaster to hit Asia this year may have centered on Thailand rather than Japan, but Japanese automaker Toyota has announced that production volumes of its 2012 Toyota Prius hybrid will be directly impacted as its supply chains suffer the effect of the worst floods to hit Thailand for 50 years.
While Toyota’s facility in Chachoengsago, Thailand -- where production of the popular Toyota Prius hybrid began in 2010 -- has escaped the majority of the flood damage, Toyota has halted production at all of its Thailand factories while the country copes with the aftermath of the floods.
The floods have also impacted production at Toyota factories worldwide, where overtime has been cancelled at some factories while U.S. Toyota factories have stopped production completely until Toyota's parts supply chain has been stabalized.
This includes Toyota’s other Toyota Prius factories in Tsutsumi, Japan and Changchun, Jilin, China.
As a consequence, expect a drop in availability of 2012 Toyota Prii over the coming weeks. We’d also expect -- although Toyota has not confirmed this -- that Toyota’s 2012 Prius Plug-in Hybrid and 2012 Prius V will also be produced in reduced numbers until Toyota’s parts supply is healthy again.
Other automakers have also announced a change to production schedules in response to the Thailand floods, including Ford, Honda and Mitsubishi.
As with any natural disaster, delays to production of an automobile should not distract from the real story of the many thousands of people who have lost their homes, loved ones, and lives.