Toyota Extends Suspension of Plants in Virus-Hit China

Economy

Tokyo, Feb. 7 (Jiji Press)--Toyota Motor Corp. <7203> will keep four assembly plants in China closed until at least Feb. 16 due to the new coronavirus outbreak in the country, company officials said Friday.

The Japanese automaker had said the plants would remain closed until at least Sunday. It initially planned to reopen them earlier this month after the Lunar New Year holiday.

"We will take an appropriate decision after considering a variety of factors including parts procurement and logistics while consulting with local joint venture partners," a public relations official said of when the plants will resume operations.

A long plant suspension is a big blow to Toyota, which sold 1.62 million vehicles in China last year, or 16.7 pct of its global total.

Japanese rival Honda Motor Co. <7267>, which has three assembly plants in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus originated, had planned to reopen them as early as Feb. 14. The company is making efforts to resume production there in the week starting Feb. 17, its chief operating officer, Seiji Kuraishi, said Friday.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press