• The Associated Press


Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday it expects to halt production at some of its factories in North America due to shortages of parts from Japan.

Toyota’s move adds to the spreading economic damage from the Tohoku quake and tsunami.

In a statement released in New York, Toyota said it was unclear which North American facilities will be affected or how long the suspension might last. It gave no indication how many employees might be affected.

The company said the impact should be limited because a majority of parts used by its North American factories came from suppliers there. It said the facilities still are receiving parts from Japan that were sent before the quake.

“Today, we communicated to team members, associates and dealers here that some production interruptions in North America are likely,” the Toyota statement said. “It’s too early to predict location or duration.”

Toyota said Thursday it will restart production of the Prius and two Lexus hybrid models — the HS 250h and CT 200h — on Monday. The Prius is made at the Tsutsumi factory in Aichi Prefecture and the Lexus models at its plant in Fukuoka Prefecture.

As for its nine other factories in Japan, Toyota has only said shutdowns will last at least until Saturday. It has lost production of about 140,000 vehicles since March 14.

Honda Motor Co. said suspension of production at its Saitama and Suzuka auto factories and a motorcycle plant in Kumamoto will last through Sunday.

Automakers are expected to rebound once they restart production, but industry analysts say they will be hampered by power shortages and damage to roads.

Last week, Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. restarted some plants using their stocks of parts but said that would continue only as long as inventory lasts.

Carmakers are scrambling to find alternative parts suppliers to replace those disabled by the disaster. The Tohoku region is home to small machine shops that make parts for secondary and other suppliers.

Repercussions from the disaster have spread through global auto manufacturing.

In the United States, General Motors Co. halted some production at an engine plant in Buffalo, N.Y., and temporarily laid off 59 of its 623 workers due to disruptions in manufacturing elsewhere.

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