By Tolulope Oke
In light of the shortages of essential parts and supplies brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Toyota will close its factory in St. Petersburg, Russia, and may even sell it.
Over 2,000 Employees to Lose Jobs as Toyota Closes Factory
Toyota stated on Friday that although it has kept the plant ready to resume output if necessary for the past six months, there are currently no signs that it will be able to do so.
The factory can produce 100,000 units annually. With exports to Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Armenia, it built the Camry midsize sedans and RAV4 crossover SUVs for the Russian market.
The automaker suspended production at the factory in March following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It also stopped vehicle imports into Russia, The Nation reported.
In Russia, Toyota has 2,350 employees. About 450 people are employed in Moscow to supervise marketing, sales, and financial operations, while about 1,900 people work in the St. Petersburg factory.
“We think about 2,000 people will leave Toyota in Russia,” the Toyota spokesman said. The workforce retained in Moscow will mainly continue to help customers in Russia with parts import and distribution.
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According to the Moscow-based AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee, Toyota sold 221 automobiles in Russia in August, a 97% decrease from the same month in 2017. 41,698 units were the total market, a 62 percent decline.
According to Toyota, the Saint Petersburg facility produced 42,235 RAV4 SUVs and 38,547 Camry cars in 2017.
According to data from the AEB, the RAV4 outsold the Camry, which had a sales total of 31,983 units, to become the 11th best-selling model in Russia last year with 38,441 units sold.
Following an expenditure of 38 billion rubles (about $680 million at the current currency rate), the factory started producing in December 2007.
As a matter of fact, Moscow’s invasion in Ukraine on February 24 has made several businesses leaving behind billions of dollars’ worth of assets in Russia.