Headaches remain for Toyota over parts

CLAIRE ROGERS
Last updated 05:00 24/02/2012

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Toyota says it still faces delays in sourcing some car parts due to a triple whammy of last year's Japan tsunami, the Thailand floods and strikes in Australia.

One owner of a Toyota car under repair claimed to be waiting for more than a month for a part.

Toyota general manager of customer services, Spencer Morris, said there had been some hard-to-get parts, but problems were not widespread.

He said there was "possibly the odd car that's been off the road for more than a month", but that did not necessarily mean it had taken that long for Toyota to source a part, as in the case of collision repairs assessing cars, dealing with insurers and providing quotes took time.

The company was still suffering parts shortages due to disruption to production from Japan's tsunami nearly a year ago, he said.

"Some of the parts got re-sourced to Thailand [from Japan] and then they had the floods there. Our factories didn't get flooded, but suppliers did.

"That was a double disaster for us. It made the recovery a bit longer.

"We're trying our best to get back on track."

Strikes at factories in Australia last year, and the launch of a new Camry vehicle, had also affected parts supplies, he said.

One Toyota service centre manager said supply of some parts, including brake pads and headlights, had been delayed, but the issues were not widespread and delays were easing.

Getting parts from Japan usually took up to 20 working days, but delayed parts had been taking more than four weeks to arrive.

Ford is also reporting delays in supplying its new Ranger utilities.

Communications manager Tom Clancy said its suppliers' factories had been affected by the floods, slowing production of its Ranger and Fiesta vehicles, and production of interior furnishing parts for the Ranger was not yet back to full capacity.

Supplying Fiestas was not an issue, but customers ordering a Ranger would have to wait until June or July to get their vehicles, he said.

King Toyota chief executive David Clarke said he was not aware of any delays getting parts. The dealer had faced some delays in getting new utilities after the Thailand floods, but supply times were pretty much back to normal, he said.

Morris said Toyota New Zealand was meeting its target of being able to supply 94.5 per cent of parts from its local warehouse.

"We were down a little bit towards the end of last year because of what happened in Japan. It's impossible to have 100 per cent of parts.

"Normally, if we don't have a part, we can get it in a matter of weeks, but if it's out of stock that can take longer." He urged customers facing significant delays to contact the company.

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"We pride ourselves on providing a good service and it is disappointing when you let customers down."

Toyota is traditionally the market leader in new-car sales, but briefly lost its title in the middle of last year when the tsunami affected new-car supplies.

Have you faced delays getting parts for your vehicle? Email: claire.rogers@dompost.co.nz

- BusinessDay

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