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Toyota to suspend Japanese production following deadly quake

by Drew Johnson

The plant shutdowns are scheduled to begin on Saturday.

Toyota announced on Friday that is halting most of its vehicle manufacturing operations in Japan following a deadly earthquake in the northern part of the country.

Spokeswoman Akiko Kita told Automotive News that Toyota will start shutting down some of its factories on Saturday. Another round of idling will occur on Monday. Kita says the plant shutdowns are the result of disruptions to Toyota's supply chain, not damage to its facilities as the result of the quake.

The first factory to be shuttered is a plant that produces Lexus vehicles and the Toyota Land Cruiser. Some of those vehicles are produced for the United States market. Toyota hasn't commented if the supply chain issues will affect production facilities outside of Japan.

The 6.7-magnitude earthquake struck the island of Hokkaido on September 6. The quake killed at least 16 people and dozens more are still missing. Most of the island remains without power.

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