Car manufacturer Toyota has suspended production at 14 plants in Japan for at least a day in response to a “system failure” at components supplier Kojima Industries. Its been estimate this shutdown might lead to a 5% drop in Toyota’s monthly production or the loss of about 13,000 units.
“Due to a system failure at a domestic supplier (KOJIMA INDUSTRIES CORPORATION), we have decided to suspend the operation of 28 lines at 14 plants in Japan on Tuesday, March 1st (both 1st and 2nd shifts). We apologize to our relevant suppliers and customers for any inconvenience this may cause.”Toyota Statement
Toyota added that it was continuing to work with its suppliers in strengthening the supply chain in order to deliver vehicles “as soon as possible”.
Car manufacturers such as Toyota have long practiced ‘just in time’ (JIT) inventory management, where components are delivered direct to production lines rather than stockpiled. In normal times this leads to massive cost savings, but it does leave the system reliant on every single supplier fulfilling orders on time.
Kojima Industries – which supplies plastic parts and electronic components to Toyota has reportedly suffered a cyber-attack, but this remains unconfirmed.
The Japanese government joined other Western nations in excluding some Russian banks from the SWIFT payment system. It also extended $100 million in emergency aid to Ukraine.
Recent international events have led some to speculate that Russia has retaliated against Japan with a cyber-attack. There’s no evidence of this and the problem could just as easily be the result of a ransomware attack for profit-motivated cybercriminals or some other reason entirely.
Third-party security experts described the suspected cyber-attack as an illustration of the growing importance of supply chain security. With the likes of Solarwinds and Kaseya making headlines during last year , it’s a wakeup call to improve security hygiene and follow industrial best practices