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BBC World Service

Toyota predicts slow return to normal level

Roland Buerk Apr 22, 2011
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BBC World Service

Toyota predicts slow return to normal level

Roland Buerk Apr 22, 2011
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JEREMY HOBSON: Toyota said this morning its factories in Japan won’t be operating at full capacity until the end of this year. Toyota has had to curb production because damage to parts suppliers.

The BBC’s Roland Buerk has more from Tokyo.


ROLAND BUERK: Toyota says its Japanese factories will start to ramp up production in July, and plants overseas, including the U.S., will see improvements starting in August. But even then, the company says it could take until the end of the year for operations to return to normal. It means until then, there may be shortages of some Toyota cars and trucks.

The company’s president — Akio Toyoda — says its not just the damage from the March earthquake.

Ongoing aftershocks are making it hard to rebuild.

AKIO TOYODA: Both domestically and internationally we expect to normalize production to the same level as before the earthquake by November or December of this year. But there are continuous aftershocks and all the work that we have done could get reset to square one again.

Toyota’s already lost production of 260,000 vehicles since the quake — 35,000 of those in North America. For next week, U.S. car plants will only be open three of the five work days — although no layoffs are planned.

In Tokyo, I’m the BBC’s Roland Buerk, for Marketplace.

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