[TOKYO] Toyota Motor Corp said on Saturday it may halt production at its domestic plants early next month due to a steel shortage following an explosion at a steel plant operated by one of its affiliates.
The heating furnace at Aichi Steel's Chita plant in central Japan exploded on Jan. 8, denting production of special steel parts, the company said, adding it aims to resume operations in March.
"At the moment there is enough supply inventory to keep our domestic plants running until Feb. 6," a Toyota spokesman said. "After that, we will be monitoring our supply situation on a day-by-day basis and decide accordingly."
Toyota, which manufactures around 13,000 to 14,000 vehicles a day in Japan, would not comment on which components were supplied by steel made at the affected plant.
Kyodo News on Saturday said Toyota would stop overtime next week at all its production plants in Japan due to the supply chain disruption. The news agency and other Japanese media reported that a production halt was possible from Feb 8.