Toyota Motor Corp., the largest Japanese company and the second biggest (interim) automaker in the world announced recently it would not reinitialize operations through Wednesday this week at the facilities near the Chinese port of Tianjin.
Last week in the Chinese port of Tianjin massive explosions reportedly claimed the lives of at least 100 persons, including dozens of firefighters, while over 700 persons were injured. Last Wednesday’s explosions fortunately – for Toyota employees – occurred during holidays for the Japanese company, so the production output of the Chinese operations has not been impacted – there are three lines in the vicinity of the affected zone, according to a Toyota statement. “However, due to ongoing evacuation advisories, none of the three lines at Tianjin FAW Toyota Motor Co Ltd will be (in) operation from Aug. 17 through 19,” the company added. They are not the only ones affected by the efforts on scene, with other global automakers unable to asses vehicle property damage simply because they are located beyond accessible authority lines. The company added it had no further information on damage or injuries after previously saying that 50 of its employees were injured in the explosions because of shattering glass.
The port of Tianjin is the gateway to northeast China, and also handles around 40 percent of China’s auto market imports. According to the official Xinhua news agency, so far the fatality count in the port city has risen to 112 on Sunday and the toll could actually be significantly higher as 95 persons were still unaccounted for.