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by Brett Davis

Toyota will resume production at all manufacturing plants in Japan on April 18 after last month’s tsunami and earthquake ravaged much of the country, causing many factory closures. Toyota will reopen the plants at 50 percent output leading up to Japan’s Golden Week holidays which start in early May.

Toyota closed all of its major production facilities in Japan after the magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck exactly one month ago. These closures have reportedly caused the company to lose up to 500,000 units in production, with the company itself saying it had lost the potential to build 140,000 units during the time from March 14 to 26 alone.

Closures were due to either direct damage or a potential danger which was brought about by damaged nuclear power plants nearby. Indirect causes to closures also included a lack of parts supply for vehicle manufacturing, such as plastics, rubber and electronic parts. Up to 18 Toyota factories are said to have been closed due to the quake.

According to Koji Endo, an analyst at Advanced Research Japan in Tokyo, the company would have lost at least 100 billion yen (around $1.2 billion) due to production and time lost to the devastation.

The recovery process is going well, however. Late last month the company announced it would resume production of hybrid models on March 28.




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