toyota-badge-001Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas (TMMTX), a subsidiary of Toyota, has suspended production at its manufacturing and assembly plant in San Antonio after storm damage.

The plant, which makes the Tundra full-size and Tacoma mid-size pickup trucks, was battered by a storm which left up to four inches of rain in a short space of time.

Production was halted on Wednesday May 18th because of damage to the roof and other areas of the plant, a Toyota spokesperson said. The factory will be closed until at least Friday.

Nobody was hurt in the storm but there have been power outages because of water leaks. Damage checks will have to be made throughout the 190,000 sq.m plant to ensure it is safe.

Bad storms have been battering Texas for weeks, causing widespread damage across the state. While storms are expected at this time of year, they have been particularly bad this year, with hailstones reportedly the size of tennis balls.

Plants have escaped the worst up until now. Just a couple of weeks ago, a spokesperson for TMMTX said: “We didn’t experience any production issues due to the hail [and] our standard inventory conditions are such that we do not have a large inventory outside. Since TMMTX operates on the just-in-time system, there is not much downtime between when our product rolls off the final line and when it is shipped.”

San Antonio plantToyota announced that it would be expanding production at San Antonio last year. It recently added a regular Saturday production shift and hired around 200 new workers. The company budgeted $26m to cover the increased labour and to pay for new tools and equipment.

The plant is expected to manufacture around 240,000 units this year. When the plant opened in 2006, a truck came off the line every 105 seconds but this is now down to around 60 seconds.