Toyota to halt production for two months as tsunami reaches Victoria

Japan’s earthquake is doing serious damage to Australian manufacturing, with Toyota’s local operations being forced to halt production at the Altona manufacturing plant by 50% for the next two months.

Toyota will halt production during May and June, as a result of parts shortages from Japan.

Toyota’s 3,300 workers in Altona have been assured they will remain employed. It’s not clear if they’ll be forced to take annual and unpaid leave during the period, or if they will be able to keep their full wages. [Ed: see comment at bottom of article]

Toyota production in Japan was halted completely for two weeks after the February earthquake and Tsunami, and has been operating at 50% capacity for the last few weeks.  

Toyota Motor Coporation said it would assess the situation again in May after the annual Spring break.

"The company, workers and their unions have worked together to ensure that jobs will be kept, and it is my understanding that the jobs of Toyota workers are not at risk,” Innovation Mininster, Senator Carr said in a media statement tonight.

“This situation has been brought about by the after effects of the recent Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

“The problem is not unique to Australia. Globally, integrated supply chains have been a feature of modern manufacturing for some time.

“I look forward to a speedy recovery of the Japanese suppliers and will be encouraging Australian component manufacturers to redouble their efforts to fill the gap.”

This is the second serious production announcement made by Australia’s car industry today, with Ford announcing it will cut 240 jobs as a result of decreased demand.

Comment on this article below.