Toyota Motor Corp. said that its joint venture plant, Tianjin FAW Toyota Motor Co., in the city of Tianjin in northeast China, will remain closed this week as it is unable to confirm that the area is safe, following a series of explosions at a nearby warehouse on Aug. 12 that released 700 tonnes of the deadly sodium cyanide.
“Since we have been unable to confirm the safety of the area in the vicinity of the blast, we have decided to keep production offline,” the company said.
Toyota produced 432,340 vehicles at the city’s three assembly lines last year, according to research firm IHS Automotive. It estimated a production loss of 2,200 cars per day as a result of the explosions.
The explosion has killed at least 114 people and injured more than 700 people. Reports said that 67 Toyota employees who lived in the surrounding area were among the injured.
Toyota also said Sichuan FAW Toyota Motor Co. would close its Changchun plant in northeast China through Friday due to delayed custom clearance of parts that were shipped from Japan to the port of Tianjin. Volkswagen AG, BMW AG and Subaru-maker Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. have moved to switch to Shanghai and other ports. Toyota is also likely to divert shipments to the Shanghai and Dalian ports.
The Tianjin port handles about 40% of the country’s imported cars, according to IHS Automotive.