Toyota to Halt UK, France Production for 12 Days

Lower sales due to effect of recall

Crisis-hit Toyota said on March 26 it will suspend production at its plants in Britain and France for a total of 12 days from next week after a sales dip following its global mass safety recalls.

The world's largest automaker will halt work at its British factories from next Monday to Thursday and again from April 6 to 9, when it will also temporarily stop output from its plant in France.

A Toyota spokesman said the initial stoppages in Britain and France are due to lower sales, while the second four-day closure in Britain will be in preparation for the production of a new model, the Auris hybrid.

"One of the reasons has to do with revising our sales plans due to the negative effects of the recalls," said the spokesman, Paul Nolasco. "The other reason is that we are getting ready to build a new hybrid vehicle in our UK plant. In that case it is very customary to close a plant for a few days, or even a few weeks."

The plants affected are Onnaing in northern France, a car assembly plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire, and an engine factory in Deeside, North Wales.

Toyota in mid-February also said it would temporarily halt production at two U.S. factories -- a Kentucky plant producing Camry and Avalon sedans and a Texas factory that makes Tundra pick-up trucks.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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