Toyota Cuts Prodction In The US

CHICAGO (AFP) – Japanese automaker Toyota on Tuesday extended production cuts at its North American plants in the wake of supply shortages following the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

The announcement came a day after Toyota resumed production at all of its Japanese plants, though at a sharply reduced volume.

Many key component manufacturers are based in the worst-hit regions of Japan, their facilities damaged by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake or inundated by the giant wave that followed.

The component supply shortages have had a ripple effect across the global auto industry, with companies shutting plants or slowing production as far afield as Britain, the United States, Turkey, France, Australia, Poland and the Philippines.

Toyota said it will continue to suspend US operations on Mondays and Fridays through June 3 and will run production at half of normal levels on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays.

It will also suspend US operations for the week of May 30 — in conjunction with the Memorial Day holiday — and will suspend Canadian operations the week of May 23 in conjunction with the Victoria Day holiday.

No layoffs are planned during this period. Team members will utilize non-production time for training and plant improvement activities.

“We are trying to continue production as much as possible and keep our workforce intact in order to facilitate a smooth transition back to full production when all parts are available,” said Steve St. Angelo, executive vice president of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America.

“Production plans beyond June 3 will be determined at a later date,” Toyota said.

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