Toyota’s production at Chinese plant gets into gear after Covid interruption
Operations have been shut for more than a month due to pandemic restrictions
Toyota has restarted operations at its Changchun plant in China, joining Volkswagen and other manufacturers in resuming production after more than a month of halted output due to restrictions to stem the spread of Covid-19.
Output gradually resumed on Sunday and normal operations are scheduled to begin on Wednesday at the factory making RAV4 SUVs in Jilin province in northeastern China, Shiori Hashimoto, a spokesperson for Toyota, said on Monday. She declined to comment on how many units of production the halt affected.
Lockdowns aimed at stemming the spread of Covid-19 in China have disrupted the operations of a raft of businesses since March. The city began to lift Covid-19 control measures last week, letting production and people’s lives return to normal, the Changchun government said.
The lockdowns threatened to further upend supply chains already stretched by materials shortages, shipping delays and the uncertainty triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Given Toyota’s scale of production — it was the world’s top carmaker in 2021 — the halt in Changchun is unlikely to seriously dent total output. Toyota topped its sales target for the fiscal year through March with 9.51-million units, its second-highest annual figure yet.
Since quelling the original coronavirus outbreak that emerged out of Wuhan in late 2019, China has had long virus-free stretches and has one of the lowest fatality rates of big economies. But maintaining that has proved difficult and disruptive, with more transmissible virus variants like Omicron sneaking through the tough border curbs and mass testing efforts that are the hallmark of China’s Covid-zero strategy.
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