Toyota Resumes Full Production at North American Plants

New data from Toyota is indicating that company’s production schedule is returning to normal. A June 16 press release shows North American production going back to 100% slowly but surely as the Japanese rebuild and recover following devastating earthquakes and natural disasters.

This report cites a current operating volume of 80% in North American production of Toyota vehicles. The Japanese company maintains 14 production plants in North America, and most of them are now slated for full production before September. Toyota officials say eight of twelve “North American made” Toyota models are already back to full production volume as of June 6.

What does this update mean for American Toyota customers? We’ve already tracked the heavy demand (and tight supply) for Toyota cars and other vehicles following the crisis in Japan, where the company’s reputation for value, and the popularity of existing Toyota models, continues to drive a competitive seller’s market for these cars. Even after the massive recall in 2009-2010, it seemed that Toyota’s appeal remained intact for the majority of customers, and today, new car buyers continue to scrap over the likes of the Toyota Corolla, Camry or other favorites, as well as the Toyota Prius, the front-runner in U.S. hybrid sales. New accolades for this car, like a recent win for AAA’s “Best Pick” in the medium car segment, makes the Prius an even more valuable car on today’s American market.

If you’re looking to buy a new or used Prius or any one of several other Toyota models, the news about production recovery can help, but it’s critical to assess how dealers stateside may be raising prices based on outdated information about supply shortages, as well as the spike in pre-owned car values, and the perennial attention that these cars get from consumers. To arm yourself against price hikes at the lot, read up on current blue book values, and get the most out of your new car purchase. Bring your trade-in and know what that vehicle is now worth. Bring a down payment to lower your overall car financing costs. And shop around to third party lenders to get the kinds of low interest rates you qualify for based on credit. Don’t rely on any one lender to “get you rates” – scour the market and get the best rates on your own, and make sure your financing party breaks down that “low monthly payment” into language that you can understand. Make 2011 the year you profit from savvy car shopping and get one of these high quality cars at a fair price.