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Toyota alters operations in light of Japan disaster

Toyota made two announcements today regarding the disaster in Japan. The first - that plants here in North America would no longer be working overtime in order to conserve parts. The second - that a donation program would be going into effect for employees.

"Kind of as a proactive or precautionary measure because we do get a small percent of out parts from Japan, we have stopped any overtime that would take place in North America," says Toyota spokesman Rick Hesterberg.

Toyota factories across North America will no longer work overtime in an effort to keep extra supplies on hand while Japanese suppliers are shut down. Hesterberg says that won't be too much of a change for the Georgetown plant.

"For our Kentucky plant we had not been working much, if any overtime, so it's not really an adjustment really for us, so really there's been no impact to our plant at this time. Again, we're just going to focus on the relief efforts at this point and just keep assessing the situation day to day in Japan," says Hesterberg.

In addition to the overtime announcement, Toyota has also announced a special donation effort set up through the American Red Cross.

"A lot of our team members here in the United States were wanting to get involved and try to do something to help, so Toyota for North America is announcing a dollar for dollar match for any donations that our team members make on behalf of this relief effort. Our team members are always great to step up and ask 'what can I do to help?' and it's great to have employees that think that way," says Hesterberg.

Hesterberg tells us that employees have already started participating in that donation program and that it will run through April.

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