Toyota expects long-term slowdown

April 22, 2011 at 11:40 AM
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TOYOTA CITY, Japan, April 22 (UPI) -- Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. said it would take another eight months before business returns to normal after the March 11 earthquake.

The company's 17 factories in Japan escaped relatively unharmed after the magnitude-9 quake and tsunami that devastated the northeast coast of the country. But companies that supply Toyota with parts were hit hard, and the company's ongoing problems lie mostly in disruptions in its supply chain, The New York Times reported Friday.

Toyota's Japanese factories are up and running but are producing roughly half the volume of cars made before the earthquake. The company's 53 factories overseas are running at an average of 40 percent of their full capacity, as they, too, rely on parts from Japanese suppliers.

Plants in Japan were expected to remain at half-speed until June 3, but Toyota did not say what the pace of production would be after that.

Plants in the United States would be running at one-quarter speed until early June, the automaker said.

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