Toyota Hopes to Restart Chinese Factory on Monday

Toyota Hopes to Restart Chinese Factory on Monday
Toyota Hopes to Restart Chinese Factory on Monday

Toyota Motor (TM) said Thursday that a strike by workers at a parts supplier means production at a large plant in China will remain halted over the weekend, according to The Wall Street Journal. But a limited resumption of production at a supplier's parts plant is expected to allow Toyota to restart assembly lines at its factory in the southern city of Guangzhou, possibly as soon as Monday.

The world's largest automaker suspended work at the plant Tuesday morning because of the strike at a plant run by parts-maker Denso, a unit of Japan's Denso Corp. (DNZOY). The Toyota factory, which produces models such as the Camry sedan and Yaris subcompact, can manufacture up to 360,000 cars annually. It's one of the Japanese automaker's biggest manufacturing sites in China, the Journalreported.

"Production is limited at this point, but we hope to return to full production as soon as possible," Denso spokesman Goro Kanematsu told The Associated Press.

The Denso workers, who are demanding higher wages, have refused to work since Monday. The plant employs 1,100 people. Denso is holding wage talks with Chinese workers, and expects to strike a deal soon, Kanematsu said from the company's headquarters in Aichi, Japan, the APreported. He declined to give further details.

Speaking at Toyota's annual shareholders meeting in Japan on Thursday, Executive Vice President Satoshi Ozawa, said the company aims to improve efficiency at its China manufacturing operations to offset an expected rise in labor costs associated with higher wages, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

Meanwhile, Honda Motor (HMC) said production resumed Thursday at one of two auto assembly plants that are part of its joint venture, Guangqi Honda Automobile Co., following a one-day suspension caused by labor unrest, APreported.

Guangqi Honda had already shut down production three times since late May because of strikes. Work stoppages also halted production from late May to early June at Honda's other plants in China.