Toyota Stalls its Tianjin Operations Due to Safety Concerns

Published Date : Aug 20, 2015

The recent twin blasts at the Chinese port city Tianjin has largely affected the automotive companies. Toyota Motor Corp. has stalled its operations in Tianjin until Sunday owing to safety concerns. The auto manufacturer has mentioned that the manufacturing plant of its Chinese partner Sichuan FAS Toyota Motor Co Ltd., would also remain closed this week as the disaster at the port city has delayed custom clearance of parts shipped from Japan. Toyota has further stated that the lost output would be compensated by planning substitute production days.

The auto manufacturer operates through two assembly lines at the Tianjin port. Toyota has not been able to confirm about the safety of the sites. According to the Chinese government, there were around 700 tons of hazardous chemical sodium cyanide in the warehouse that led to the deadly blasts at the port city. 

Tianjin is China’s major car import terminal. The blasts have left the auto makers struggling to assess the long-term impact on their businesses. 67 employees of Toyota have been injured in the blasts. So far, it has been estimated that around 114 people have been killed in the blasts. Other auto manufacturers such as BMW AG and Volkswagen AG have shifted to Shanghai and other ports. Toyota is also expected to follow them and divert shipments to ports such as Dalian and Shanghai. Industry analysts have pointed out that before the blasts, Tianjin accounted for more than 40% of China’s imported cars. A prolonged halt of operations at the port city would prove costly for Toyota, the second-largest auto maker of the world. This would, in turn, affect the auto manufacturer’s sales in the country. Toyota has registered robust sales in China so far amid shrinking auto market in the country.