Toyota may shift U.S. sales goals due to Japan

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Co <7203.T> may have to change its U.S. sales targets because of production slowdowns in Japan and North America, the U.S. sales chief of the world's largest automaker said on Tuesday.

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But the company was still watching developments in Japan closely, and more answers will emerge in the next few weeks, Toyota's Bob Carter said at the NADA/IHS Automotive Forum.

Toyota's auto plants in Japan are now building half the normal number of vehicles because of supply disruptions and power outages stemming from the March 11 earthquake in that country.

Last week Carter told Toyota's U.S. dealers in a memo that the uncertainty in the supply of parts from Japan could threaten the company's output of vehicles through July.

The production slowdown could limit Toyota's ability to capture market share on its fuel-efficient lineup this summer as U.S. average gasoline prices are expected to top $4 per gallon, analysts have said.

(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)