Toyota's domestic output rises year-on-year for first time since March natural disasters Japanese businesses were greatly impacted by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that battered the island nation on March 11. Many of the nation's automakers, located in the country's Northeast, were incongruously affected, with production levels at Toyota, Honda and Nissan plummeting.

Toyota, the world's biggest automaker, had to drastically reduce its manufacturing capacity as crews worked to repair factories. However, after nearly seven months of progress, the company announced it had achieved its first increase in its monthly domestic output.

Analysts hailed the announcement, affirming the Japanese carmaker's struggle to overhaul its strategic sourcing and implement procurement best practices during the crisis would serve as a model for companies in the future.

MarketWatch reports although the Japanese automaker was excited to announce the uptick in domestic output, executives cautioned the strong yen could undermine its ability to cheaply manufacture cars in Japan, perhaps slowing future sales and revenue.

Toyota said its domestic production in August climbed 12 percent compared to 2010 levels. Company officials said they were finally able to piece back together its complex and global supply chain, prompting the increased manufacturing output.

Honda and Nissan, on the other hand, continue to suffer from the effects of the March 11 natural disasters. The former, the nation's second biggest carmaker, said domestic output declined by 2.5 percent in August, while the latter, Japan's third largest auto manufacturer, affirmed its domestic output declined by 17 percent.

Officials from Honda and Nissan said sales were exceedingly high in August of 2010, as consumers hoping to benefit from government subsidies rushed to buy fuel-efficient hybrid models. Analysts had projected the firms' domestic output to decline as a result.

Nevertheless, Suzuki Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. said they increased domestic production in August, citing strong demand and a realignment of their supply chains.

Japan's overall automobile output slumped between April and July of this year, with manufacturing activity plummeting 34 percent, or 1.4 million vehicles. Experts contend Japanese carmakers' domestic production levels are poised to soar over the coming months, though, as they continue to recover from their post-crisis crash.

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