By Drew Johnson
Monday, Apr 4th, 2011 @ 4:09 pm
 
Refuting earlier reports, Toyota says that it's "too early to predict location or duration" of any North American plant shutdowns that might occur as the result of last month's earthquake in Northern Japan.

Toyota announced on March 23rd that the earthquake/tsunami might affect North American production, but failed to release any further details. Since then several reports have surfaced naming specific plants that could be impacted by parts shortages, but Toyota says it's still too early to determine which plants might be affected and for how long.

In an official statement released today, Toyota reiterated the fact that most of its North American plants source their parts from about 500 North American suppliers. For those plants that do use Japanese-sourced parts, Toyota says there are still plenty of parts in the pipeline, so there shouldn't be an immediate impact on production.

However, once those parts run out, there could be North American shutdowns, but the question still remains - which plants and for how long.