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Top 5 Stories
Dealers Shift Gears as Inventories of Made-in-Japan Cars Run Low
Japan Carmakers See Return to Full Output Taking Time
Toyota Begins Rationing Its Spare Parts
Winterkorn: VW Avoids Japan Supply Disruptions -- So Far
EU to Ban Cars from Cities by 2050
Top 5 Stories
Dealers Shift Gears as Inventories of Made-in-Japan Cars Run Low

Plenty of car shoppers dropped by Earl Stewart Toyota in North Palm Beach, Fla., over the weekend to check out the latest Prius hybrids, but not one drove home with a new model. That's because the store, located in this affluent ocean-side community, is out of Priuses and hasn't had any for about the last 10 days, according to Earl Stewart, one of the largest Toyota dealers in the U.S. Supplies of some fast-selling vehicles including the Prius, the Nissan Rogue and Subaru Forester already are beginning to dwindle. By late next month or early May as replenishment vehicles already en route before the quake hit are sold, U.S. dealers will be left with a thin selection of models, colors and options. "I think we will see toward the end of April the hiccup," Mr. Stewart said in an interview. "We will see a slow down, and hopefully it will only be a two week thing. We know it is coming."
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Japan Carmakers See Return to Full Output Taking Time

TOKYO - Japanese automakers including Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co said on Tuesday it would be some time before they could return to full production after Japan's devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami disrupted supplies to their plants. With some 500 parts affected, a Toyota spokesman said it was impossible to say when production would resume in full. A source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters that the automaker had told its main suppliers not to expect production to restart until at least April 11 -- exactly a month from the quake. A spokesperson for Honda Motor Co said on Tuesday that car production would be suspended until the end of the week and that the company was considering when it could re-start output.
Source: Reuters

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Toyota Begins Rationing Its Spare Parts

LOS ANGELES – A lack of spare parts coming from suppliers struck by the Japan earthquake has started to affect U.S. Toyota and Lexus dealerships. A memo sent Friday from Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. to its dealers said that, although the vast majority of spare parts operations were running after a four-day shutdown, “damage sustained by certain parts suppliers will interrupt their normal production.” Initially, that will result in a shortage of 233 parts numbers for at least 30 days, Toyota confirmed. In the memo to dealers, Toyota said both the number of parts affected, and the length of interruption “may increase.”
Source: Automotive News

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Winterkorn: VW Avoids Japan Supply Disruptions -- So Far

BERLIN -- Volkswagen AG's production has not been hampered by disruptions at Japanese partsmakers because of the earthquake, CEO Martin Winterkorn said. "We are well supplied through next week," Winterkorn said Monday at a press conference in Salzburg, Austria. The CEO said predictions beyond next week are impossible given the changing situation in Japan. Ford Motor Co. plans to idle its auto plant in Genk, Belgium, for five days starting April 4, to conserve parts following the earthquake and nuclear crisis in Japan. General Motors Co. and SA/Peugeot-Citroen SA also have reduced production at factories in Europe due to disrupted supplies. PSA said Monday conditions are likely to gradually return to pre-crisis production levels at its plants starting on Thursday.
Source: Automotive News/Bloomberg

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EU to Ban Cars from Cities by 2050

Cars will be banned from London and all other cities across Europe under a draconian EU masterplan to cut CO2 emissions by 60 per cent over the next 40 years.

The European Commission on Monday unveiled a "single European transport area" aimed at enforcing "a profound shift in transport patterns for passengers" by 2050. Top of the EU's list to cut climate change emissions is a target of "zero" for the number of petrol and diesel-driven cars and lorries in the EU's future cities. Siim Kallas, the EU transport commission, insisted that Brussels directives and new taxation of fuel would be used to force people out of their cars and onto "alternative" means of transport. "That means no more conventionally fuelled cars in our city centres," he said. "Action will follow, legislation, real action to change behaviour." The Association of British Drivers rejected the proposal to ban cars as economically disastrous and as a "crazy" restriction on mobility.
Source: The Telegraph (United Kingdom) 

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"We can break the transport system's dependence on oil without sacrificing its efficiency and compromising mobility."

    -- Siim Kallas, of the EU transport commission, which on Monday unveiled a plan to ban vehicles from London and all other cities across Europe by 2050 to cut CO2 emissions, The Telegraph (United Kingdom), March 29

"The man is off his rocker."

    -- Hugh Bladon, a spokesman for the Association of British Drivers, which rejected the EU proposal to ban cars as economically disastrous and as a "crazy" restriction on mobility, The Telegraph (United Kingdom), March 29

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