Toyota to resume production of Prius, certain hybrid models following supply disruptions  The 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that ravaged Japan nearly two weeks ago caused a majority of the country's companies to shutter their doors temporarily in the wake of devastation. Nonetheless, in the coming week, Toyota Motor plans to resume production of the Prius and two other hybrid models in the island nation.

Toyota will restart the production of its popular Prius, Lexus HS250h and Lexus CT200h models; according to the company, it will restart production on the models because of high demand. A Toyota spokesman, however, declined to comment when asked whether the world's biggest automaker's supply chain was fully restored.

The northeast part of Japan is where auto manufacturers are mostly located; it is also the area of the country hardest hit by the tsunami. Because of disruptions to its supply chain, Toyota could lose production of 140,000 cars through Saturday, analysts assert. "They are clearly prioritizing Prius, given overseas demand," said University of Michigan engineering professor Jeff Liker.

"On the constraints for Toyota hybrids is the supply of batteries," Liker told Bloomberg. "One of three plants appears to be affected, so they may only have two-thirds of the battery supply capacity."
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