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Toyota has announced that all of its 12 production plants in Japan will be shut down for 11 days in February and March thanks to the recent sales drop. Toyota sold about 20,000 fewer Priuses in 2008 than in 2007. According to Automotive News Europe (subs req'd), Toyota already reduced the number of vehicles it will build this business year by almost a million units and this round of closures means there will be even fewer Toyota's built in the coming year. The last time all Japanese Toyota plants were shut at the same time was in 1993. Considering that all Priuses are made in Japan (that Mississippi Prius plant never got off the ground), the Prius supply will be reduced over the 11 days of quiet. The big question is if it'll be down enough to meet demand without excess.

[Source: Automotive News Europe (subs req'd), AP]

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