Impact: Toyota to idle some U.S. factories this month image

According to several sources, Toyota Motor Co, will have to temporarily shut down some of its North American factories because of parts shortages due to the earthquake that hit Japan.

Mike Goss, a spokesman Toyota US, said some shutdowns were “inevitable” but would not necessarily affect all plants.

“This is a very fluid situation,” he told AFP. “Some interruptions (are) likely but where and when (is) unknown,” he said.

Goss told the Associate Press that the idlings would affect 25,000 workers but that employee layoffs are not expected. The spokesman did not estimate how long the idlings would continue.
Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, the automaker’s business unit in North America, operates plants in 10 states and Mexico, producing engines and other critical systems, as well as a cars and light trucks.
Japan is still staggering from a March 11 earthquake and tsunami and subsequent radiation leaks from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plants.

Last month, Toyota said it would slow North American output because of parts shortages from Japan. Last year, Toyota built nearly 1.5 million cars and trucks in North America. Also, its U.S. sales in March dropped 9.2% compared with March 2010, on a daily selling-rate basis.
The automaker reported March U.S. sales of 176,222 units.

Japan has announced that nearly 28,000 people have died or are feared dead as a result of the disaster which is said to be of historic proportions.