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Top 5 Stories
Prius Factory to Restart, Honda Extends Shutdown
Toyota Braces for Slowdown in North American Output
Parts Shortages Will Impact U.S. Auto Makers for Months
J.D. Power: March Sales Forecast Up 9% From Year Ago
AT&T to Bring Wireless Power to the Ford Focus Electric
Top 5 Stories
Prius Factory to Restart, Honda Extends Shutdown

TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp. said it will soon resume production of the Prius and two other hybrid models while rival Honda Motor Co. has extended its Japan auto shutdown until early April in the aftermath of the massive quake and tsunami. Separately, rival Honda Motor Co. said Thursday that the suspension of car production at its Saitama and Suzuka factories will be extended to April 3. It had previously said production was halted until Sunday. Toyota revealed earlier Thursday that it expects to halt production at some of its factories in North America because of shortages of parts from Japan. "Today, we communicated to team members, associates and dealers here that some production interruptions in North America are likely," the Toyota statement said. "It's too early to predict location or duration."
Source: The Associated Press

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Toyota Braces for Slowdown in North American Output

The supply-chain disruptions from the March 11 Japanese earthquake are likely to force Toyota Motor Corp. to cut production at its North American plants, the company told workers and retailers [Wednesday] afternoon. Honda Motor Co., meanwhile, said some of its biggest suppliers are still struggling to recover. As of Tuesday, "about 10 of those suppliers have let us know that they will be more than a week from getting up to speed," American Honda spokesman Jeffrey Smith said. "They are experiencing significant delays." Not only to do Japanese auto plants in North America and Europe rely on varying levels of components made in Japan, but many non-Japanese automakers also import from Japan. Last week, General Motors said it was halting production of pickups in Shreveport, La., due to shortages of Japanese-sourced parts.
Source: Automotive News

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Parts Shortages Will Impact U.S. Auto Makers for Months

The U.S. auto industry is likely to face sporadic production shutdowns for several months because of shortages of microchips and other parts that had already been scarce prior to Japan's earthquake and tsunami, analysts say. Tight supplies of microchips and other electronics, sensors, rubber and forged metal parts had already caused auto makers to slow or even temporarily halt production lines before the earthquake. "You are going to see a somewhat higher rate of plant shut downs, but I don't think it's going to be widespread," said Craig Fitzgerald, an automotive supplier analyst with accounting and consulting firm Plante & Moran LLP in Southfield, Mich. "It's going to be sporadic and moving around."
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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J.D. Power: March Sales Forecast Up 9% From Year Ago

DETROIT -- March U.S. auto sales continue to outpace last year's levels despite rising gas prices and inventory uncertainty following the earthquake in Japan, J.D. Power and Associates said today in a monthly report. The research and consulting firm projected March total light-vehicle sales to top 1.2 million units, up 9 percent from March 2010. New-vehicle retail sales alone account for a forecasted 991,900 units. This represents a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 10.9 million units, up 15 percent from the same period the year before. Its forecast for total vehicle sales remains at 13 million units, which is up 13 percent from last year.
Source: Automotive News

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AT&T to Bring Wireless Power to the Ford Focus Electric

Ford has chosen communications giant AT&T as the provider of wireless connectivity for the Focus electric. The service will be provided by AT&T through the MyFord Mobile smartphone app and will be used to allow Focus electric owners to send and receive data, voice commands and control of vehicle settings. "Connecting consumers directly to their electric vehicles in this new and innovative way is going to drive innovative and exciting levels of interaction," said Glenn Lurie, president of emerging devices, resale and partnerships, AT&T.
Source: AutoEvolution

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For More Auto Industry News, Visit NADAFrontPage.com
 
Quotable
"You have the earthquake, you have the tsunami, rolling blackouts, and fuel shortages hitting at the same time, and they aren’t only hitting the car manufacturers, but also the suppliers and the dealers."

    -- Carlos Ghosn, Nissan Motor Co. chief executive officer, who said Wednesday about 40 auto-parts makers remain hampered after Japan’s record earthquake, Bloomberg, March 24

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