Japanese automaker Toyota has announced its suspending operations at its only Russian plant, joining other manufacturers from the country who are restricting trade or planning such a move in Russia.
“Toyota Motor Russia will stop production at its St-Petersburg plant from 4 March and has stopped imports of vehicles, until further notice, due to supply chain disruptions,” the company said in an announcement on March 3.
The St. Petersburg plant is the sole manufacturing facility Toyota has in Russia, which makes Camry and RAV4 models mainly for the domestic market. With 168 retail locations, Toyota is the biggest Japanese car brand in Russia. The St. Petersburg plant employs 2,000 workers and outputs 80,000 vehicles.
Toyota does not have any factories in Ukraine, but has 37 retail locations. Activities in these outlets were suspended on Feb. 24 when Russia initiated the war. Manufacturing and sales operations in the rest of Europe continue functioning as usual.
“Like everyone around the world, Toyota is watching the ongoing developments in Ukraine with great concern for the safety of people of Ukraine and hopes for a safe return to peace as soon as possible. As a company with operations in Ukraine and Russia, our priority in dealing with this crisis is to ensure the safety of all our team members, retailer staff, and supply chain partners,” the company added.
Honda, which sold 1,406 cars in Russia in fiscal year 2020, has suspended the export of motorcycles and cars to Russia citing difficulty in shipping the vehicles and payment issues.
Mitsubishi announced the possibility of suspending sales and manufacturing activity due to supply chain disruptions triggered by sanctions against Moscow, while Nissan is monitoring the situation and has currently decided to continue its operations. It sold around 53,000 vehicles in Russia last year.
Mazda announced that its export of parts to the company’s plant in Vladivostok would soon wind up. The brand had sold 30,000 cars in Russia in 2021.
More than 50 percent of Japan’s exports to Russia in 2020 were accounted for by automobiles and related parts.
Japan, on Tuesday, had announced freezing the assets of six Russians, two Russian state-owned banks, and the central bank. Exports to 49 Russian entities are now prohibited.
Eighteen more Russian officials, as well as seven Belarusian officials, were charged with asset freezes on Thursday. Tokyo plans to impose stricter export controls against Belarus.
Four additional Russian banks will have their assets frozen. Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said that Tokyo supports the European Union’s sanctions. By freezing the assets of Russian banks, Japan seeks to make sure that measures to block Russia from the international payment system SWIFT are effective.