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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Toyota optimistic on restoring American production (AFP)

NEW YORK (AFP) – Toyota's North American production will return to 100 percent in September, a faster-than-expected recovery after the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the company said Thursday.

"Our team members and suppliers here and in Japan have worked tirelessly to get us back to 100 percent, overcoming many challenges," Steve St. Angelo, executive vice president of Toyota North America, said in a statement.

"The effort in Japan has been incredible, especially in the midst of such tragedy and devastation," he added.

Earlier this month Toyota said its North American production levels would be around 70 percent in June. It initially said that production in North America would not start ramping up again until August.

The carmaker's global production fell by around half after the March 11 disaster, which shattered supply chains and crippled electricity-generating facilities, including the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Following the disaster, the company froze production at some of its plants around the world and ran others at less than half capacity.

Last week Toyota said it expected net profit in this fiscal year to drop 31 percent to $3.5 billion due to a strong yen and the effect of the disaster.

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