Toyota closes car production plant in Russia

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Toyota “sees no way” to restart production in St Petersburg after suspension of more than six months.

Toyota has confirmed it will permanently close its plant in Russia, where production had been suspended since March following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Japanese car maker said it “sees no way” to restart production either now or in the future at the St Petersburg factory, following its more than-six month closure due to European Union-imposed import sanctions blocking parts and stifling construction.

Before work was suspended, the factory produced the Toyota Camry and Toyota RAV4 with an annual capacity of 100,000, according to Reuters.

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Employees, who have been retained throughout the suspension, will be offered assistance for re-employment, retraining and wellbeing, Toyota has confirmed, adding that they will all be given redundancy payouts. It didn’t confirm how many people were affected.

Toyota will also retain aftersales services in Russia for both its and sibling brand Lexus’s vehicles.

In a statement, the company said: “The decision to terminate production of Toyota vehicles in Russia is not one that we have taken lightly.

“Over the last 80 years, we have developed our business and our brand with the support of stakeholders around the world.

“We must now act in a way that allows us to protect the values and principles that our predecessors built up and be confident that we can pass them on to the next generation.”

Toyota is the latest of several car makers to have pulled out of Russia since it started its war against Ukraine.

Volkswagen announced that it would close its Nizhny Novgorod factory in July, while ​​Aston Martin, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda and Jaguar Land Rover have halted sales in the country.

Will Rimell

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