Toyota Ends Carmaking in Russia, Seeing No Path to Restart Plant

TOYOTA Motor Corp. has decided to cease vehicle production at its lone car plant in Russia, a rare move for the company still manufacturing at sites in Japan dating back to its founding in the 1930s.

The automaker suspended operations at its plant in Saint Petersburg in March along with peers including Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. Toyota fully retained its workforce and kept the facility ready to restart production if circumstances allowed.

“After six months, we have not been able to resume normal activities and see no indication that we can restart in the future,” the company said in a statement.

Russia’s auto market has collapsed in the wake of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, with deliveries plunging more than 80% in the months of May and June. Avtovaz PJSC, which state entities took over from Renault SA, has increased its share of sales in recent months along with Chinese companies that have filled the void left by western brands.

While Toyota said its operations in Moscow need to be optimised and restructured, its statement doesn’t detail what measures it will take. The company vowed to continue supporting its retail network and providing service to existing customers in Russia. – Bloomberg