Toyota shuts Russia shop amid Ukraine war, no plans to restart in near future
Japanese auto giant Toyota Motor is the latest carmaker to pull out of Russia amid the country's war against Ukraine. The carmaker made the announcement late on Friday, confirming its decision to shut its only plant in the country in the wake of war. News agency Reuters reported that Toyota has decided to cease vehicle production in Russia permanently. Before exiting, Toyota held the largest market share in the country compared to any other Japanese brand.
Toyota had began manufacturing cars locally in Russia in 2007. It had set up its plant at St Petersburg where it used to manufacture RAV4 sport utility vehicle and the Camry sedan before the decision to shut it down. Last year, Toyota manufactured 80,000 vehicles and sold 110,000 units in Russia.
Toyota now joins other Japanese carmakers like Nissan Motor and Honda Motor due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. Toyota has not decided about the future of its employees working at the St Petersburg facility yet. The carmaker has also confirmed that it has no plans to sell its business as of now. Toyota issued a statement saying, “After six months, we have not been able to resume normal activities and see no indication that we can restart in the future."
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Toyota has assured that it will to continue to support its retail network in Russia and also offer servicing facilities to its existing customers.
Russia’s auto market is in doldrums since President Vladimir Putin launched invasion of Ukraine earlier this year. Deliveries of cars have plunged more than 80 per cent between May and June this year. Avtovaz, which took over Renault's business after the exit of the French auto giant, has increased its share of sales in recent months along with Chinese companies that have filled the void left by western and Japanese brands.