New car deliveries to be delayed.
Typhoon Hagibis was the most devastating typhoon to hit the Kanto region, southwest of Tokyo, of Japan since 1958. The death toll currently stands at 77, while nine people are missing and thousands are left flooded and without electricity. The effect of the typhoon will be felt for a long time, and one of the early knock-on effects in the automotive industry is Subaru having to suspend production at its Gunma factory, according to Nikkei Asia Review.
The typhoon has affected some of Subaru's key suppliers and, as a result, the main plant and adjacent transmission and engine factory will be shut down for a short period. This will likely affect the delivery of the new 2020 Subaru Forester, Crosstrek, and BRZ models as well as the WRX and WRX STI for US customers.
Initially, Subaru shortened operating hours at the plant on Saturday as the typhoon approached, and moved to normal working hours on Monday. However, operations had to be suspended due to the supply disruptions. According to Subaru, the company aims to restart operations at its Gunma plant by October 25. In the meantime is offering support, including staff, to parts suppliers damaged by the typhoon.
"Suppliers are currently working to normalize their operations with our human and material support as well, but we expect some impairment of their supply of automotive components and parts to Subaru," said the automaker in a release.
According to more reports, other automakers including Toyota and Mitsubishi Fuso Truck have also had to suspend operations due to the supply problems but have already resumed production. The typhoon won't affect 2020 Outback, Ascent, Legacy, and standard Impreza models in the US as they are manufactured at Subaru's plant in Lafayette, Indiana.
Subaru keeps its operation lean and keeps a tight inventory, so not being able to produce vehicles even for short periods of time can hurt Subaru. The 2020 Crosstrek was expected to land in dealer's lots soon, but it's likely that customers may have to wait a little longer now.