Toyota output cuts until November

Toyota has announced it will not return to normal production levels globally until November or December because of parts shortages caused by March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Apologising to customers for the delays in delivery, Akio Toyoda, president of the car giant, said factories in north-eastern Japan were destroyed in the March disasters, leading to a component supply crisis.

In a statement released before a press conference, Mr Toyoda said: "To all the customers who made the decision to buy a vehicle by us, I sincerely apologise for the enormous delay in delivery."

Toyota, the world's number one carmaker in 2010, reported a production loss of 260,000 cars due to the twin disasters in Japan.

Earlier this week, the automaker resumed operations at its plants in Japan that had been halted since the earthquake and tsunami, but production volume was at around 50% due to a shortage of autoparts.

It is not yet known when they will return to full production.

Production volumes at Toyota's factories in China are also at 50%.

In North America, Toyota has suspended production on Mondays and Fridays from April 26 to June 3. Plants will run at 50% capacity on other weekdays during the same period, and suspend production in late May for holidays in the US and Canada.

Promising that it will not lay off any of its 25,000 employees, Toyota said the extra time will be used for training to make improvements at its 13 North American factories.

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