Toyota Motor will suspend production at one of its plants in Thailand at the end of the month as the economic crisis hammered exports, in a rare move for what was until a few years ago the world's fastest-growing carmaker.
Toyota said on Friday it would close its Thai Auto Works (TAW) factory, which builds the Fortuner sports utility vehicle and the Hilux Vigo pick-up truck, transferring production to two other Thai plants that also build the two models, after May 31. TAW would be the first factory in recent memory to be closed by Toyota for reasons of falling demand.
The move will not result in job cuts,. TAW's 960 workers would be transferred to Toyota's other Thai factories, a spokeswoman said.
Troubles for Toyota began in January 2009, when it stoped the construction of new factories in Thailand and Russia. The Thai production facility was especially supposed to manufacture 150,000 diesel engines per year and would have created 700 new jobs in the region. Toyota's total production in Thailand fell by nearly a quarter to 435,000 units in 2009.
The company is deciding what to do with the factory after it closes.
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