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Toyota, Sony keep Japan production curtailed

By Annalyn Censky, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Toyota Motor said Tuesday that it is extending a halt on full vehicle production in Japan through March 26 as it and other major manufacturers try to recover from the effects of this month's earthquake.

The nation's three largest automakers, Toyota Motor (TM), Honda Motor (HMC) and Nissan (NSANY), as well as electronics maker Sony (SNE) all shut down factories following the earthquake and tsunami that killed at least 9,000 people and left another 13,500 missing.

Toyota said it resumed production of auto parts on March 17. It also said all of the company's 13 North American factories are running normally, although they've cut overtime hours to conserve parts that come from Japan.

Meanwhile, three of Nissan's four Japanese plants were up and running again Monday, although their capabilities were limited to producing auto parts. Nissan plans to resume full vehicle production on Wednesday.

Honda will keep its two Japanese factories that make finished automobiles closed through at least March 27th, a spokesman for the automaker said. Meanwhile, Honda's U.S. dealers have been asked to stop ordering new Japanese-built cars. However, most Honda cars sold in the U.S. are produced in North American factories and those factories are still operating.

Sony said it has resumed partial operation at a lithium ion battery plant and a Blu-ray disc recorder plant as of Tuesday.

But Sony said it has suspended operations through March 31 at facilities making such things as camcorders, broadcasting equipment, camera lenses and microphones due to limited raw materials and components. Several other facilities remain shut due to quake and tsunami damage, as well as scattered power outages caused by the nuclear plant crisis in Fukushima. To top of page

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