Toyota Resumes Prius Production, Delays Wagon

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As Japan slowly gets back to normal following the earthquake and tsunami, Toyota has announced that it will resume production of its popular Prius hybrid and two Lexus hybrids.

"We're doing this because these models are in high demand," said Toyota spokesman Paul Nolasco. "These are being made with new parts coming from our suppliers. But we're going to take it slow to see if there are any hiccups in the supply chain."

Automotive News reports that while the two plants that makes these cars will reopen, the other 16 facilities remain closed. Toyota said it would lose production of 140,000 vehicles.

The effects could be felt in the U.S. -- Toyota warned that its North American plants may have to cut production because of a shortage of parts from Japan.

In another Toyota news, Automotive News also reports that the disaster has forced the company to delay the Japanese launch of its highly anticipated Prius wagon.

The company planned to start selling the car there by the end of April. But that date has been pushed back, spokeswoman Mieko Iwasaki said. No new date was set.

This is not expected to affect the car's arrival in the United States and Europe later this year, Iwasaki said.

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