Toyota keeping China plants shut through February 9 over virus

TOKYO (AFP) – Japanese automaker Toyota will keep its plants in China closed until at least February 9 over concerns about a new coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 130 people.

“Given the various factors including the guidelines by the local and regional governments and parts supply situation, as of January 29, we have decided to halt operations in our plants in China until February 9,” a Toyota spokesman told AFP.

“We will monitor the situation and make further decisions on operations from February 10.”

The plants had been closed for the Lunar New Year holiday, and were due to resume operations.

The decision affects three assembly plants that Toyota operates, the GAC Toyota Motor Co Ltd facility, as well as Tianjin FAW Toyota Motor Co Ltd and Sichuan FAW Toyota Motor Co Ltd.

Eight other production sites belonging to the firm in China will also  remain closed.

The move comes as concern grows about the novel strain of the coronavirus, which has infected nearly 6,000 people in China.