Toyota to temporarily halt U.S. production as it grapples with supply chain issues  Right on the heels of an announcement by the company that it will keep a majority of its Japanese factories closed next week, Toyota Motor said Friday it will operate on a shortened work week starting Monday at its 13 North American plants as the company endeavors to deal with the complex supply chain issues resulting from the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11. 

Toyota said that next week it will close its plants on Monday and Tuesday; the following week, it plants to shutter the plants on Monday, Thursday and Friday. The world's biggest automaker affirmed that production would also be stopped on April 25, when the company plans to reassess its production schedule.

According to company executives, the shutdowns are necessary as it works to avoid running out of critical parts. Nearly 85 percent of the components for the 12 models it manufactures in North America are made domestically. Supply disruptions thus far have forced the company to shutter nearly all of its production facilities in Japan.

"We are slowing down to conserve parts yet maintain production as much as possible. We appreciate the flexibility of our team members, suppliers and dealers as we work through these issues," Toyota Motor engineering vice president Steve St. Angelo asserted.

Nissan and Honda have also temporarily halted production in the U.S. as they work to shore up their supply chains following the devastation caused by the natural disasters.
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