Toyota is warehousing key parts here in North America just in case their supply chain gets interrupted due to supplier failure.
This is an interesting disruption to their long-standing "just in time" philosophy, which has marked warehousing as a symbol of inefficiency.
So, is this the right thing to do or is it an overreaction?
On one hand, they work with over 250 suppliers that also work with the US Big Three. If one of the Big Three goes into bankruptcy the chain reaction might shut down Toyota. On the flip side, perhaps this should herald a new level of communication and commitment between the suppliers and Toyota. They have, in fact, sent people out to help suppliers work on cutting costs and improving performance.
What else do you think needs to be done? Is Toyota inadvertently sending a lack of confidence message in their suppliers? Opinions?