6:27am

Mon June 20, 2011
Business and the Economy

Back to Full Production in the Fall

Toyota Motor Corp. officials announced Thursday that vehicle production at all North American plants will have rebounded to 100 percent by September. The announcement is good news for the company's plants in San Antonio, Texas, which builds the Tundra and Tacoma pickups, and Ontario, Canada, home to the RAV4 and Lexus RX350. For Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, one of 11 plants running at 100 percent production, the announcement has no direct impact. TMMK resumed full production of the Camry, Avalon and Venza on June 6.

Currently, eight of 12 Toyota vehicles built in North America are running at full production levels.

The timetable for 100 percent production of the other models is earlier than the automaker had expected. After the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan disrupted production of parts, it had said full vehicle production might not resume before December.

"After September we will focus on making up lost production as much as possible," Steve St. Angelo, executive vice president of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing, North America, said in a statement. "Our team members and suppliers here and in Japan have worked tirelessly to get us back to 100 percent, overcoming many challenges. The effort in Japan has been incredible, especially in the midst of such tragedy and devastation."

The nonproduction days and production halts have taken a toll. Monday, the company announced that it expected profits for fiscal 2012 to be 31 percent lower than the year before.

According to Autodata Corp., Toyota dealers in America had 210,941 vehicles to sell in May. A year earlier, inventory was at 322,786.