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Production Resumes for Toyota

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author photo by Autotrader April 2011

It's no secret that the March 11 earthquake and tsunami has disrupted Japan's car industry. Many factories in the island nation have been closed since the disaster struck, and the effects of the closures have been rippling around the car world since.

But Toyota finally has some good news: For the first time since the quake, work has resumed in all of its Japanese factories. The last plant to reopen is located in the Miyagi prefecture, a region that was especially hard hit by the disasters last month. The Miyagi plant makes the Yaris sedan for the North American market.

Although Toyota's plants are up and running that doesn't mean the carmaker is out of the woods yet. Some Japanese plants that produce outsourced car parts are still struggling to recover. This means missing parts will hold up assembly lines all over the world.

For Toyota, factories will only be able to work at half the normal capacity for now. The plan is for all the plants to continue at that rate until June 3. Toyota will then reassess the situation and decide from there.

Both Toyota and Nissan have contacted dealers, warning of the effects of the slowed production. Nissan dealers have been told that only 7,500 vehicles will make it to North America in May, as opposed to 40,000 just two months before, according to Automotive News.

Nissan said that it is going to delay the release of the Murano CrossCabriolet for up to two months while it deals with the shortage. The launch of Toyota's Prius V, a roomier version of its popular hybrid, is similarly delayed.

Dealers have been preparing for the shortage for a while, and many have turned to increasing used inventories in order to make up for the deficit in new cars. The surge in demand from dealers, and the shortage of supply from the manufacturers has driven up the cost of used vehicles. Earlier this month, the National Automobile Dealers Association reported an 11 percent increase in wholesale prices of popular late model compact cars.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Production Resumes for Toyota - Autotrader