Slowing Japanese imports take toll on local businesses

SMITHTOWN - The crisis in Japan has had an impact on its exports to the United States, which is beginning to take a toll on Long Island businesses.

In Smithtown, the Toyota dealership says with rising gas prices, the Prius has been a hot commodity, but the car is imported from Japan and that plant has been closed since the earthquake and tsunami struck last Friday.

Long Island auto workers say other cars are also affected, including the Highlander, which is assembled in Indiana with parts from Japan. In Hauppauge, workers at Audiovox say they also import parts from the country and are worried things could get tight if closed Japanese ports continue to hinder cargo ships.

General Motors has said that it will halt production at its plant in Louisiana, marking the first time a U.S.-based automaker has slowed production due to shipment disruptions from Japan. LI Continuing Coverage: Japan quake and aftereffects

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