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Toyota slashing production by 40% to 60% due to COVID-19, supply issues – Global News

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Toyota is scaling back production in North America and Japan as the surging COVID-19 pandemic in Southeast Asia and elsewhere crimps supplies.

Japan’s top automaker said Thursday that it will cut back production at home by 40 per cent, affecting 14 auto assembly plants in the country.

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In North America, Toyota said it expects August production to be slashed by 60,000 to 90,000 vehicles. A representative from Toyota said that output fluctuates month to month, but that it would equate to a production cut of between 40 per cent and 60 per cent.


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“Due to COVID-19 and unexpected events with our supply chain, Toyota is experiencing additional shortages that will affect production at most of our North American plants,” the company said in a prepared statement Thursday. “While the situation remains fluid and complex, our manufacturing and supply chain teams have worked diligently to develop countermeasures to minimize the impact on production.”

A spokesperson for Toyota in Canada told Global News the decreased production levels are not expected to have an impact on employees.

“Due to COVID-19 and unexpected events with our supply chain, Toyota is experiencing additional shortages that will affect production at most of our North American plants, including TMMC,” spokesperson Michael Bouliane stated in an email.

“We do not anticipate any impact to employment at this time.”

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In Japan, production will halt completely next month at some plants and partly at others, affecting a wide range of models, including the Corolla subcompact, Prius hybrid and Land Cruiser sport utility vehicle.

Global production for September will decline by 360,000 vehicles, according to Toyota Motor Corp. But it stuck to its annual forecast to produce 9.3 million vehicles, as coronavirus risks were figured in.


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Of the lost production out of Japan, 140,000 vehicles are for Japan and 220,000 for overseas, with 80,000 in the U.S., 40,000 in Europe, 80,000 in China, 8,000 in the rest of Asia and about 10,000 in other regions.

Toyota had already announced smaller production cuts for July and August in Japan.

“We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to our customers and suppliers due to these changes,” Toyota said.

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A shortage of the computer chips used widely in vehicles has been problematic for months as the world appeared to emerge from the pandemic and demand surged. Toyota had not been hit as hard as some other major automakers, and now the spread of the delta variant has introduced new complications.

David Leggett, auto analyst at GlobalData, said auto demand is now down in Vietnam, and sales have already been hurt in some markets for all manufacturers.

“The pandemic is clearly far from over and appears, as far as the auto industry’s recovery path is concerned, to have a sting in the tail,” he said.

Toyota has held up relatively well amid the pandemic, racking up a record profit for the April-June quarter at about $8 billion, an increase of more than fivefold from the same period the previous year.

— with files from Global News’ JK

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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Gold price firmer as bulls work to stabilize market – Kitco NEWS

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  1. Gold price firmer as bulls work to stabilize market  Kitco NEWS
  2. Gold rebounds but holds below $1,900 on Fed fears, firm dollar  Financial Post
  3. Gold Price Forecast – Gold Markets Attempt to Stabilize  FX Empire
  4. Gold SWOT: The Dollar and Treasury Yields extended declines last week, pushing gold higher  Kitco NEWS
  5. Gold Price Forecast: XAU/USD Awaits Fedspeak after Absolute Blowout Jobs Report  DailyFX
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News

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Turning empty offices into housing is a popular idea. Experts say it's easier said than done – CBC.ca

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Turning empty offices into housing is a popular idea. Experts say it’s easier said than done  CBC.caView Full Coverage on Google News

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Tiny wines find home in B.C.’s market, as Canadians consider reducing consumption

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VANCOUVER — Wine lovers have growing options on the shelf to enjoy their favourite beverage as producers in B.C. offer smaller container sizes.

Multiple British Columbia wineries over the last several years have begun offering their product in smaller, single-serve cans and bottles.

Along with making wine more attractive to those looking to toss some in a backpack or sip on the golf course, the petite containers leave wineries with options for a potential shift in mindset as Canadians discuss the health benefits of reducing alcohol consumption.

Vancouver-based wine consultant Kurtis Kolt said he’s watched the segment of the wine industry offering smaller bottles and cans “explode” over the last several years, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic when people were meeting outdoors in parks and beaches and looking for something more portable to take with them.

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“You’re not taking a hit on quality, you know? In fact, if someone is only going to be having a glass or two, you’re cracking a can and it’s completely fresh, guaranteed,” he said.

It’s also an advantage for people who want to drink less, he said.

“It’s much less of a commitment to crack open a can or a small bottle or a smaller vessel than it is to open a bottle,” he said.

“Then you have to decide how quickly you’re going to go through it or end up dumping some out if you don’t finish it.”

Last month, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction released a report funded by Health Canada saying no amount of alcohol is safe and those who consume up to two standard drinks per week face a low health risk.

That’s a significant change from the centre’s 2011 advice that said having 15 drinks per week for men and 10 drinks per week for women was low risk.

Health Canada has said it is reviewing the report.

Charlie Baessler, the managing partner at Corcelettes Estate Winery in the southern Interior, said his winery’s Santé en Cannette sparkling wine in a can was released in 2020 as a reduced alcohol, reduced sugar, low-calorie option.

“We’ve kind of gone above and beyond to attract a bit of a younger, millennial-type market segment with a fun design concept of the can and sparkling, low alcohol — all these things that have been recently a big item on the news,” he said.

Santé en Cannette is a nine per cent wine and reducing the alcohol was a way to reduce its calories, he said. The can also makes it attractive for events like a picnic or golf, is recyclable, and makes it easier for restaurants that might want to offer sparkling wine by the glass without opening an entire bottle.

At the same time, the lower alcohol content makes it an option for people who might want a glass of wine without feeling the same effect that comes from a higher alcohol content, he said.

“So the health is clearly one incentive, but I think more importantly, so was being able to enjoy a locally made product of B.C. from a boutique winery, dare I say, with a mimosa at 11 o’clock and not ruin your day,” he said.

Baessler said the winery has doubled production since the product was first released to about 30,000 cans a year, which they expect to match this year.

He said there’s naturally a market for the product but he doesn’t expect it to compete with the higher-alcohol wine.

“So this isn’t our Holy Grail. This is something that we do for fun and we’ll never compete, or never distract, from what is our core line of riper, higher-alcohol wine,” he said.

Jeff Guignard, executive director of B.C.’s Alliance of Beverage Licensees, which represents bars, pubs and private liquor stores, said the industry has seen a shift in consumers wanting options that are more convenient.

“It’s not a massive change in consumer behaviour but it is a definitely a noticeable one, which is why you see big companies responding to it,” he said.

Guignard said the latest CCSA report is creating an increased awareness and desire to become educated about responsible consumption choices, which is a good thing, but he adds it’s important for people to look at the relative risk of what they’re doing.

“If you’re eating fast food three meals a day, I don’t think having a beer or not is going to be the single most important determinant of your health,” he said.

“But from a consumer perspective, as consumer preferences change, of course beverage manufacturers respond with different packaging or different products, the same way you’ve seen in the last five years, a large number of low-alcohol or no-alcohol beverages being introduced to the market.”

While he won’t predict how much the market share could grow, Guignard said non-alcoholic beverages and low-alcoholic beverages will continue to be a significant piece of the market.

“I don’t know if it’s reached its peak or if it will grow. I just expect it to be part of the market for now on.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 5, 2023.

 

Ashley Joannou, The Canadian Press

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