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2010 Toyota Prius – Click above for high-res image gallery

Japan's 9.0-magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami continue to impact the nation's auto industry, as Automotive News is reporting that Toyota and Honda have again extended factory shutdown timelines. Toyota will apparently idle its 18 domestic plants through March 26, while Honda will keep factory doors closed at least until March 27. With plants shuttered, Toyota will have to make due without its hot-selling RAV4, Prius and Corolla, and Honda won't be able to import the Fit and CR-V stateside.

When Japan's largest automakers finally do start plants up again, there is a good chance production will only be temporary. Other Japanese automakers, including Mazda and Mitsubishi, are opening up plants on a temporary basis, but parts shortages ensure that the plants will quickly re-close. Many of the suppliers who feed parts to the automakers are still offline as a result of the natural disaster, so OEMs have no choice but to sit back and wait for the situation to improve.

So when will we start to notice shortages of Japanese autos here in the U.S.? Since autos from Toyota and Honda typically don't sit on dealer lots for very long, we're thinking we'll start to see this problem hit home in only a few more weeks.


Review: 2010 Toyota Prius
  • Review: 2010 Toyota Prius
  • Review: 2010 Toyota Prius


Photos copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req.]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Guess I am glad I am not in the market for a new car. My guess is the used car sales will increase pretty quickly.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I would think that nearly every car has at least some Japanese content. And, if it is a part that can't be sourced elsewhere, the production line will halt as they cannot complete the car.

      I have seen production lines of my own products halted because of one friggin' capacitor or transistor; but without that capacitor, it isn't a complete product.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nissan has been affected as well, my parents ordered a Leaf that they soon found out was one of the 600 delayed indefinitely due to production issues related to the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear crisis.

      My thoughts are with the people of Japan as they go through this terrible, incomprehensible tragedy. However, I have confidence that Japan will recover from this disaster, the Japanese are some of the most resilient, hardworking people in the world, they have risen from other problems in the past(World War II bombings, 1923 earthquake) and they will rise again.

      • 4 Years Ago
      This is going to hurt economic recovery; many people will just sit back and wait for their Toyotas and Hondas (they're not commenting AB, obviously), but many many will. On the flip side, their delayed purchases will drive up prices as demand increases. Also to benefit will be the Big 3 and Euro brands, but I don't know the extent.

      The quake/tsunami will also affect other products, as the supply chain remains dry. But autos are most visible.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Rav4 and Corolla both have plants in Ontario, Canada that supply the US.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The US gets the CR-V from Ohio(engines/assembly), Mexico(assembly) or Japan, with transmissions coming from Japan for each assembly plant.

      • 4 Years Ago
      I try to like Toyota, but less Prii and Corollas (the current car is nowhere near competitive) isn't a bad thing.