Toyota to halt work in UK and France over mutant virus discord

Toyota Motor Corp. will halt production in the U.K. and France from Tuesday due to transport delays caused by a mutant strain of coronavirus spreading
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People walk past a newly placed sign on Eel Brook Common as EU countries impose a travel ban from the UK. (REUTERS)
People walk past a newly placed sign on Eel Brook Common as EU countries impose a travel ban from the UK.

Toyota Motor Corp. will halt production in the UK and France from Tuesday due to transport delays caused by a mutant strain of coronavirus spreading in the UK and that’s led several countries to close their borders with the nation.

The border closures have “disrupted the transportation of parts," Toyota spokeswoman Shino Yamada said in an emailed statement.

Countries globally have moved swiftly to shutter their borders with the UK amid fears the fast-spreading new strain will infect more people. That’s triggered widespread delays of goods going in and out of the UK.

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France was an early mover, suspending travel, including freight, on Dec. 20. Places from Canada to Hong Kong and India have also severed travel links.

Toyota had planned to shutter its UK and France plants starting Dec. 24 for the winter holiday season. Its French operations, as well as its UK. Deeside engine plant, will cease activities two days earlier than planned, from Dec. 22. Another Toyota vehicle plant in the UK will halt operations one day early, from Dec. 23.

The UK plants will resume operations on Jan. 5 and the France plant will restart on Dec. 29, as was previously scheduled, said Yamada.

A spokeswoman for rival Japanese carmaker Honda Motor Co. said there will be no changes to the scheduled winter closure for its UK factory, which will last from Dec. 23 through Jan. 3.

First Published Date: 22 Dec 2020, 09:06 AM IST
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