Toyota’s days of producing cars in Russia are over. This comes after the Japanese carmaker announced the official end to its manufacturing operations in the country to protect “the values and principles that our predecessors built up” over the years.
The brand’s manufacturing operations at its Saint Petersburg plant have been suspended since March 4. Since then, Toyota says it has “been closely monitoring the situation and evaluating the future sustainability of our business in Russia.”
“During this period we have fully retained our workforce and ensured our facility was ready to re-start production if the circumstances allowed. However, after six months, we have not been able to resume normal activities and see no indication that we can restart in the future,” Toyota explained in a statement.
“The decision to terminate production of Toyota vehicles in Russia is not one that we have taken lightly. Over the last 80 years we have developed our business and our brand with the support of stakeholders around the world. We must now act in a way that allows us to protect the values and principles that our predecessors built up and be confident that we can pass them on to the next generation,” it added.
Toyota also stressed the need to optimize and restructure its operations in the country with the goal of continuing support for existing Lexus and Toyota owners in the country.
“We would like to thank our employees for their hard work and loyalty. In recognition of their valued contribution, we will be offering them assistance for re-employment, re-skilling and well-being, including financial support above legal requirements,” the statement ends.
Eight decades isn’t an insignificant amount of time—even in the grand scheme of the global auto industry. Do you think the brand’s manufacturing operations will ever return to the country?