Toyota Suspends Brazil Production Over Parts Supply

Plant in Argentina will also shutdown temporarily

Toyota temporarily halted production on May 6 in its Brazilian assembly plants due to a lack of parts from earthquake-ravaged Japan, a spokesman for the world's leading automaker said.

The Indaiatuba plant outside Sao Paulo which churns out 303 cars per day froze production of its Corolla sedan for a second time since Japan's unprecedented earthquake-tsunami-nuclear disaster, and a third stoppage is expected on May 20.

The action also affects Toyota's plant in Zarate, Argentina, which manufactures mid-size Hilux trucks and the SW4 sport-utility vehicle and where a second shift will be suspended for three days in May.

Toyota production in Japan and worldwide fell sharply due to damage to its parts manufacturers in northeast Japan, the region hardest hit by the 9.0-magnitude mega-quake and resulting massive tsunami on March 11.

The company said in April it expects to return to a normal production rate by late November or December.

Other Japanese automakers also have been forced to temporarily suspend production of vehicles and parts. Honda's Brazil operations brought forward its annual recess for employees to the end of May, and undertook similar measures in North America, the Philippines and Britain.

In Mexico, Nissan closed its two assembly plants for 15 days in April.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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