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Toyota, Mitsubishi to Resume Thailand Production

Toyota will resume normal production in North America next week.

After the country's flood disaster closed factories for more than a month, Toyota and Mitsubishi Motor have said they will resume production from November 21 at its three Thai plants, which were forced to halt operations on October 10.

The closures triggered a shortage of parts at home, in Asia and as far away as North America and South Africa.

"Toyota is starting to get a firm grasp of the situation and would like to restart production as soon as possible so as to restore normalcy to those affected," company president Akio Toyoda said on Nov. 9.

Toyota, which has held off issuing its full-year earnings forecast as it assesses the impact of the floods, has been forced to close some operations in Asia, the United States, Canada and South Africa due to a lack of supplies.

It has said it will resume normal production in North America next week.

Toyoda said despite the problems caused by the flooding the company had no plans to leave Thailand. "Toyota is not considering shrinking its operations here. If anything, we would expand," he said.

Fellow automotive giant Mitsubishi said on Nov. 11 it would restart production at its Laem Chabang Plant in Thailand from Monday, after the plant closed on October 13 due to a lack of parts from flood-hit suppliers.

Suppliers were steadily recovering, "enough so that parts needed for its models produced at the Laem Chabang Plant are now available again", the company said.

"More time will be necessary for (Mitsubishi's) supply chain to recover completely due to the devastating impact of the massive flooding on suppliers in Thailand," it said.

"However, (the company) and its partners together will continue to put their best efforts towards resuming normal production levels at the Laem Chabang plant," it said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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