Toyota boosts US production sooner than expected

Toyota will be able to boost its United States production sooner than expected following a devastating Japanese quake and tsunami which disrupted supply lines, the automaker said Wednesday.

Overall North American production will reach 70% of normal levels in June, up from approximated 30% in June.

Toyota had previously forecast that North American production would not start to ramp up again until August.

“Our team members and suppliers are working closely on countermeasure activities to improve the parts condition from Japan,” said Steve St Angelo, vice president of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America.

“We continue to develop solutions in order to restore 100% production as soon as possible for all of our North American-made vehicles.”

Toyota said it hopes to fully normalise production by late this year.

Models returning to 100% production in June are Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Matrix, Sequoia, Sienna and Venza.

Earlier on Wednesday, Toyota said fourth quarter net profit tumbled 77% to $314-million.

Like many of its Japanese peers, Toyota declined to give a forecast for the current year as it assesses the impact of the March 11 disaster.

The 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the resulting tsunami hammered production, shattered supply chains and crippled electricity-generating facilities, including a nuclear power plant at the centre of an ongoing atomic emergency. — AFP

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