Toyota suspends operations in China over Coronavirus outbreak

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Toyota, the world’s second-largest automaker, has announced that its auto plants located in China would remain shut due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The company reportedly went on break during the new year holidays with the aim of resuming early February. However, it decided to continue the suspension of operations, which would go on till February 17, the new date it plans to resume.

Why this matters: This closure by Toyota affects a total of 12 plants it has in China, some with joint venture partners, GAC Motor and FAW Group. They include four car manufacturing plants and eight plants that manufacture components.

The closure may affect Toyota’s sales as China is to be the world’s biggest auto market. This was confirmed by Toyota, which sold about 1.4 million vehicles in China last year. The sale represented an increase of more than 6% from the previous year.

Meanwhile, apart from Toyota, other automakers like Honda and Hyundai Motors are also yet to resume operations since late January because of the virus.

While Honda Motor plans to resume production at its plants in China from the week starting February 17, Hyundai Motor intends to resume operations at its Chinese factories on the same day with Toyota, February 17.

Automakers remain concerned whether they can return to full production in China after reopening as authorities in China try to halt the spread of the virus.

What you should know: Many businesses across the world have been shut down, and countries are preventing goods and people into their territories from China, as the deadly virus, which started from Wuhan, is spreading across the world.

According to China’s National Health Commission, the death toll in the country related to the coronavirus outbreak has risen to 910 while the number of people infected increased to 40,614.

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