Toyota to restart hybrid vehicle output in Japan

City A.M. Reporter
Toyota is to restart production of three hybrid models on Monday after the massive earthquake and tsunami disrupted output across the auto industry.

Production will resume for the Prius, Lexus HS250h and CT200h at the Tsutsumi factory in central Japan and Toyota Motor Kyushu in the south, spokeswoman Shiori Hashimoto said.

All 18 factories that assemble Toyota and Lexus vehicles in Japan, including those operated by group units, have been closed by the quake.

An additional seven plants directly operated by Toyota that make engines and other parts are also affected. The production halt will result in lost production of at least 140,000 vehicles.

"We will monitor the situation of parts availability carefully in deciding the duration of production," she said.

Problems with power and parts have prevented other Japanese automakers restarting assembly lines.

Honda is to suspend car production at its Japanese factories until at least April 3, extending the stoppage by a week.

Japan's No. 3 automaker said it would decide on plans beyond April 3, depending on the availability of parts.

Honda will resume motorcycle and power product production at its Kumamoto factory in southern Japan on March 28.

Honda said it would also temporarily transfer some functions such as car development and procurement out of its R&D facilities in Tochigi, which was badly hit by the March 11 earthquake.

Suzuki said its three assembly factories in Japan will remain closed on Thursday and Friday.

Nissan says its manufacturing operations in the Americas would follow a regular production schedule at least until April 1.

It also said output of the all-electric Nissan Leaf resumed at the Oppama plant on Thursday as did battery production at Zama battery plants.

Nissan said the ability to sustain this output is dependent on the frequency of rolling blackouts due to electrical shortages.