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Report: Toyota May Halt Production in Japan Amid Steel Shortage

Will it affect Toyota's yearly production goals?

Toyota may idle production at its Japanese plants in February due to a steel shortage. According to Reuters, the problem could affect the automaker's plans to produce 4.13 million vehicles in the country this year, including the new 2016 Toyota Prius, which is made exclusively in Japan.

Following the explosion of its steel plant on January 8, Aichi Steel says it hopes to start making steel again in March. The shortage may negatively impact its affiliate, Toyota, which says it has only enough supply to keep its car plants running until February 6. Meanwhile, Toyota has cancelled overtime and weekend shifts for the week, and after that, the path remains unclear.

"After that, we will be monitoring our supply situation on a day-by-day basis and decide accordingly," a Toyota spokesman told Reuters on Saturday.

Toyota builds about 14,000 vehicles a day in Japan, where the automaker produces 40 percent of its global output. The automaker—which includes the Toyota, Lexus, Daihatsu, and Hino brands—exported about 46 percent of its vehicles made in Japan last year.

Toyota remains the best-selling automaker in the world by posting sales of 10.15 million last year, ahead of both Volkswagen and General Motors. For 2016, the automaker hopes to ramp up global sales to 10.2 million units.

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