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Toyota increases U.S. prices an average of 1.7 percent on most models

Fri, 01 Apr 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., coping with a rising yen and an earthquake-shattered supply chain, announced price increases today that average 1.7 percent for many 2011 Toyota, Scion and Lexus models.

The increases range from $65 for the small imported Scion xD, to $900 for two of its larger vehicles, the Toyota Land Cruiser and Sequoia SUVs, as well as several Lexus models.

In a statement, Toyota estimated that the price changes on Toyota models amount to increases of between 1.2 and 2.2 percent.

At Lexus, price increases will range from $600 for the GX460 SUV to $900 for the IS F, LS and GS 450h sedans, and the LX570 SUV. Those price adjustments represent a change of between 0.8 percent and 2.1 percent for Lexus models.

Several models will not see a price change. They include the Tacoma pickup, Yaris sedan, Scion tC sports coupe and xB utility, the Lexus CT 200h hybrid and 2012 LFA, Toyota said.

Toyota said the changes will become effective with "May 2011 production" for North American-sourced models, and for May arrivals on models imported from Japan.

However, with the operating condition of Toyota's Japanese-based parts supply chain still uncertain, it is not clear how much Toyota's plants will produce in May and thereafter.

Toyota spokesman Greg Thome said that the price increases are not a result of the industry chaos unleashed by the March 11 earthquake in Japan.

The quake, tsunami and nuclear crisis have disrupted vehicle and parts output throughout Japan, putting the availability of many models in question and thinning dealer inventories throughout the industry.

"The decision for the price adjustments for all models was made prior to the recent events in Japan," Thome said.

Nissan North America also announced price increases a week ago, adding the timing of the price adjustments was coincidental to the earthquake.

The historically strong yen makes it difficult to profit from building models in Japan and exporting them to North America. Nissan, as a result, is planning to shift more output from Japan to North America to counter unfavorable currency exchange rates.

By Lindsey Chappell