Toyota extends China shutdowns to two weeks

Craig Trudell
Bloomberg News

Toyota Motor Corp. said its biggest source of production in China will remain closed for at least two weeks following the deadly Tianjin explosions on Aug. 12 as safety concerns prevent the company from resuming operations.

The automaker’s affiliate Tianjin FAW Toyota Motor Co. will extend the production shutdown through Aug. 26, spokesman Itsuki Kurosu said in an e-mail. About 4,700 Toyota and Lexus vehicles were damaged by the explosions at a chemical storage site in Tianjin, he said.

Operations will restart once Toyota is able to confirm the safety of its facilities and the surrounding area, Kurosu said. Tianjin FAW Toyota built about 440,000 Crown, Reiz, Corolla and Vios cars last year, almost half of Toyota’s annual vehicle output in China.

Toyota has emerged as one of the hardest-hit carmakers by the blasts at a Tianjin warehouse holding toxic material that killed at least 121 people and injured 67 Toyota employees living in the surrounding area. The disaster took a broader toll on the auto industry, damaging 2,700 Volkswagen AG cars and shutting a nearby Hyundai Motor Co. logistics center.