Toyota ends vehicle manufacturing in Russia with no plans to restart

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Japan’s Toyota Motor, the world’s largest automaker, said it was permanently ending vehicle manufacturing at its plant in Russia’s St. Petersburg, with no clear indication of restarting operations there.

The company had suspended its Russian operations on March 4, shortly after Moscow launched its military offensive in Ukraine, which disrupted the company’s supply chain.

Since then, it has been monitoring the situation and assessing the future sustainability of its operations in Russia, and has retained its full workforce and was ready to restart operations “should circumstances permit”, Toyota said on its website Friday. .

But after six months of assessing the situation, “we have not been able to resume normal operations and see no indication that we will be able to restart in the future,” he said.

Russia launched its military offensive in Ukraine at the end of February, which the international community decried and which came up against sweeping sanctions led by the West.

A list of global companies have either halted operations or left Russia altogether to protest Moscow’s actions, including heavyweights in finance, energy, retail and food and drink.

More than 1,000 companies have at least scaled back their operations in Russia, according to the Yale School of Management.

Among them are Citi, Goldman Sachs, BP, Shell, Equinor, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and TikTok. Starbucks and McDonald’s, two of the biggest brands in the food industry, were quickly replaced by new brands.

Even the organizer of the Grand Slam tennis tournament Wimbledon banned Russian players from participating in its tournament.

Automakers that have made similar decisions include Volvo, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz and Mazda.

Toyota said its decision was also to uphold its “values ​​and principles”.

“The decision to end production of Toyota vehicles in Russia is not a decision we took lightly. Over the past 80 years, we have grown our business and our brand with the support of stakeholders from around the world. world,” the company said.

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

Toyota also said it would continue to support employees who were affected by the closure of its St. Petersburg plant, although the company did not explicitly say it was laying them off.

“We would like to thank our employees for their hard work and loyalty. In recognition of their valuable contribution, we will offer them re-employment, retraining and welfare assistance, including financial support beyond legal requirements,” he said.

Updated: September 24, 2022, 10:00 a.m.

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