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Parts Scarcity Forces Toyota To Close U.S. Factories


And Toyota is telling its dealers in the U.S. to brace for vehicle shortages because of the disaster in Japan. The company also told its American workers to plan for unscheduled days off.

Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports.

TRACY SAMILTON: Toyota will shut down its U.S. factories for five extra days this spring because of parts shortages, and warns its American dealers to expect inventory shortfalls.

It's bad news for Rick Hodges, who manages Victory Toyota in Canton, Michigan.

Mr. RICK HODGES (Manager, Victory Toyota): When the weather breaks, March all the way through August is normally when we're going to sell two-thirds of all of our vehicles. And it's going to hurt our sales, sure.

SAMILTON: Honda, GM and Ford have also idled U.S. plants. But Michael Robinet, of IHS Automotive, says this won't likely change how carmakers get their parts.

Mr. MICHAEL ROBINET (IHS Automotive): To think that absolutely everything is going to be dual-sourced in the future and that they're going to have no reliance on any one supplier, I think, would be folly.

SAMILTON: The parts shortage means car buyers could see new car prices rise, more cars on back order, and higher used car prices, too.

For NPR News, I'm Tracy Samilton in Ann Arbor. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.