Toyota to pause plants in Britain, France amid new virus strain fears

Dec 23 , 2020. 23 hours ago – 11:03 POSITIONING

LONDON – Toyota Motor Corp. said Monday it will suspend operations at its plants in Britain and France following logistical disruptions caused by the recent border closure related to the discovery of a new strain of the novel coronavirus in England.

The factories were scheduled to close from Thursday for the Christmas and New Year period, but the shutdown date was brought forward, the automaker said.

Toyota’s engine factory and vehicle production bases in Britain will close from Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, while its assembly plant in France will shut down on Tuesday afternoon.

The company said while some inventory remains, it is feared that the border closure may affect supplies.

France closed its traffic border with Britain for 48 hours from midnight Sunday, worried about a new strain of the coronavirus. This has caused large traffic jams around the Port of Dover, according to local media.

More than 40 countries and territories have decided to apply tough travel restrictions to and from Britain.