Toyota Shuts Plants in France, Portugal amid Virus Fears

Economy

Nagoya, March 18 (Jiji Press)--Toyota Motor Corp. <7203> has announced the closure of its automobile assembly plant in France from Wednesday through the end of this month, amid the spreading coronavirus contagion in Europe.

The leading Japanese automaker has also decided to suspend operations at its assembly plant in Portugal for two weeks from Monday this week.

In 2019, Toyota manufactured 224,000 units of its Yaris compact car at the French plant. The Portuguese plant has capacity to annually produce 9,800 units of the Land Cruiser SUV.

The French plant closure came after the French government announced Monday a ban on leaving home for nonessential reasons.

The European market accounts for about 11 pct of Toyota's global sales of new automobiles. Its hybrid vehicles, among others, have been enjoying solid demand there.

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