Toyota to Halt Work in U.K. and France Over Mutant Virus Discord

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Toyota Motor Corp. will halt production in the U.K. and France from Tuesday due to transport delays caused by a mutant strain of coronavirus spreading in the U.K. and that’s led several countries to close their borders with the nation.

The border closures have “disrupted the transportation of parts,” Toyota spokeswoman Shino Yamada said in an emailed statement.

Countries globally have moved swiftly to shutter their borders with the U.K. amid fears the fast-spreading new strain will infect more people. That’s triggered widespread delays of goods going in and out of the U.K.

France was an early mover, suspending travel, including freight, on Dec. 20. Places from Canada to Hong Kong and India have also severed travel links.

Toyota had planned to shutter its U.K. and France plants starting Dec. 24 for the winter holiday season. Its French operations, as well as its U.K. Deeside engine plant, will cease activities two days earlier than planned, from Dec. 22. Another Toyota vehicle plant in the U.K. will halt operations one day early, from Dec. 23.

The U.K. plants will resume operations on Jan. 5 and the France plant will restart on Dec. 29, as was previously scheduled, said Yamada.

A spokeswoman for rival Japanese carmaker Honda Motor Co. said there will be no changes to the scheduled winter closure for its U.K. factory, which will last from Dec. 23 through Jan. 3.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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