• Kyodo


Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday that nearly all its North American production is expected to return to normal levels by early September, earlier than the original projection of November, thanks largely to greater availability of parts.

The automaker has cut North American output due to parts shortages following the March 11 disaster. The reductions are estimated to have affected production of about 220,000 vehicles in Japan.

With Toyota returning to full capacity, all the major domestic automakers will have resumed normal production levels in North America, their main overseas market, about six months after the Tohoku calamity.

Nissan Motor Co. resumed normal production last month, while Honda Motor Co. is expected to follow suit in August.

Vehicle shortages stemming from the production cuts have seen Japanese automakers lose market share in the U.S., making it likely their sales will be affected for some time.

Toyota was able to move up the schedule thanks to an earlier-than-expected recovery in the availability of Japanese-made components, the company said.

Toyota, which is currently operating at about 70 percent of normal levels, will boost its North American production to 80 percent in August before returning to normal levels in September. A small portion of production will return to normal sometime after November, it said.

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