LOS ANGELES -- Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. cannot guarantee that its dealers will have adequate inventories of cars from May through July and perhaps beyond that.
In a letter to dealers sent April 10, Toyota Division General Manager Bob Carter said, "Today we have good levels of inventory, but inventory will be getting tighter.
"What we don't know are vehicle production levels for May through July. The potential exists that supply of new vehicles could be significantly impacted this summer," Carter added.
Carter noted that Toyota inventory levels have remained strong since the March 11 earthquake in Japan. With more than 300,000 units in dealer stock, Toyota is "well ahead" of the 72,000 units that remained after the cash for clunkers program, he said.
Last week, Toyota Motor Corp. announced that it would be running its U.S. plants on three-days-a-week schedules, while its Japanese plants will run at 50 percent April 18-27, then be shut down through May 10 as part of Japan's "Golden Week" national holiday.
Toyota also is limited in the availability of certain paint colors, and Toyota's manufacturing arms are working to match paint supply with vehicle demand. However, dealers will no longer be able to request paint color changes late in the ordering and allocation process.