Toyota to Cut Work at Brazil, Argentina Plants

Toyota, the world's biggest automaker, said it will temporarily halt work at factories in Brazil and Argentina due to the lack of parts from Japan after the massive March quake and tsunami.

"Toyota Mercosur is temporarily closing its production plants in Indaiatuba (Brazil) and Zarate (Argentina) due to a lack of parts supplied by Japan after the earthquake and tsunami that hit the country on March 11, 2011," read a statement from the division's website datelined Sao Paulo.

The Brazilian plant, which manufactures Toyota Corolla sedans, will stop production for a day on Friday. The Zarate plant, where workers make Hilux trucks and SW4 sports utility vehicles, will grow silent July 20-22 and for a half day on July 15.

The work stoppages "will not affect the level of employment at the factories," Toyota assured, saying construction of a new plant in Brazil and plans to expand production capacity at the Zarate factory were still on track.

Toyota, which had temporarily stopped production in Brazil and Argentina after the quake, said that operations in both countries "will return to their normal levels" after July.

Production, both in Japan and globally, fell sharply for Toyota in the wake of the disasters that hit its home country due to damage to parts manufacturers with factories in Northeast Asia, the region worst hit by the Pacific earthquake and tsunami.

The company has said it expects to recover normal production levels in late November or December.

The 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the resulting tsunami left 23,000 dead or missing, destroyed entire towns and crippled electricity-generating facilities, including a nuclear plant at the center of an ongoing emergency.

In the power and parts shortages that followed, automakers and other Japanese firms announced production disruptions domestically and overseas, temporarily slowing output or shutting plants.

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