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Ukraine war drives Toyota out of Russia

Column box-Al Mendoza-Full Tank

THE Russia-Ukraine war is driving car giants out of Russia. Toyota leads the batch, according to Nikkei Asia.

In an item last weekend, Nikkei Asia said Toyota, the world’s No. 1 carmaker, will become the first automaker to withdraw from Russia since it suspended its operations in St. Petersburg on March 4.

Nikkei Asia’s report:

“NAGOYA, Japan—Toyota Motor on Friday announced an exit from automobile production and sales in Russia, citing difficulties supplying key materials and parts in the country amid the war in Ukraine.

“‘It was a difficult decision,’ Toyota Chief Communications Officer Jun Nagata told reporters online Friday. ‘We will liquidate our local unit in Russia instead of selling it.’”

“Operations were suspended at its plant in St. Petersburg on March 4, after the Russian invasion began on February 24.

“After six months, we have not been able to resume normal activities and see no indication that we can restart in the future,” Japan’s top automaker said.

“A protracted disruption would hurt Toyota’s ability to support employees, leaving it no choice but to end production in the country, it said.

“Mounting geopolitical risks in the region are believed to have contributed to the decision as well.

“Toyota had continued to pay factory workers after suspending production, reassigning them to maintenance and other tasks.

“The automaker said it decided to terminate operations while it has the resources to provide a larger severance to affected workers and help them find new employment.

“Toyota holds a larger market share in Russia than any other Japanese automaker. It produced 80,000 vehicles and sold 110,000 in the country in 2021.

“The company began locally producing vehicles in 2007 at St. Petersburg. The plant’s lineup included the RAV4 sport utility vehicle and the Camry sedan in 2021.

“Over 1,000 companies, including Mazda, have announced plans to curtail operations in Russia, according to Yale University.

“Renault offloaded its roughly 68 percent stake in top Russian automaker AvtoVAZ to a Russian state-affiliated research institute for just 1 ruble (2 cents) in May, though the deal included an option to buy back the stake within six years.

“Renault alliance partner Nissan Motor has extended its production freeze at its St. Petersburg plant to the end of December from the end of September.

“Mitsubishi Motors, the third member of the alliance, has paused Russian production as well.

“In the food industry, McDonald’s and Starbucks are among those exiting Russia.”

Honda’s 40th dealership

HONDA will open next year its 12th dealership in Metro Manila and 40th nationwide.

Located in Marikina City’s Sumulong Highway, the state-of-the-art dealership will be erected on a 3,700-sq. meter lot, featuring five display showrooms and 10 working bays.

Its inauguration is slated January 2024.

PEE STOP The Lexus All-New RX is coming to town. Billed to be unleashed November this year, the fifth generation muscle is 198 pounds lighter than its predecessor. That’s a lot of weight slashed. Fuel efficiency assured to the max? Cheers, RTR-san!

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