Toyota confirms it will scale back Mexico plant

Toyota Executive Vice President Didier Leroy, above, presents the company’s Concept-i series during media preview of the 45th Tokyo Motor Show in Tokyo. Leroy said the decision to shuffle production plans was to enable increased production of pick-up truck models in North America. (Reuters)
Updated 25 October 2017

Toyota confirms it will scale back Mexico plant

WASHINGTON/TOKYO: Toyota on Tuesday said it will scale back investment in a planned plant in Mexico by 30 percent to $700 million (SR2.81 billion) and cut planned annual capacity in half to 100,000 vehicles as it shuffles its production plans to meet market demands.
Toyota Executive Vice President Didier Leroy said the decision was made to enable the automaker to produce more of its pick-up truck models, which are in strong demand in its key North American market.
“Our biggest concern today in the way we produce cars in North America – we don’t have enough trucks,” Leroy told reporters at the Tokyo Motor Show.
“We now can have a hub between Texas, Baja, California, and the new plant in Mexico, and in the three different locations we will produce the Tundra and the Tacoma, which is the best in terms of global supply for the North American market.”
He added that the change in plans, under which the company initially intended to build a $1 billion dollar plant, did not alter the automaker’s our long-term commitment to Mexico, saying that it could raise production capacity in the future.
In August, Toyota and Mazda said they would jointly build a $1.6 billion US assembly plant, with Toyota saying it would build Corolla cars at the new venture rather than in Guanajuato, and switch to building Tacoma pickups in Mexico.
Spokesman Scott Vazin said the change was not a result of fears that the United States could withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement, but came after Toyota went “back to the drawing board on rationalizing our production strategy for North America,” following the Mazda deal.
“We are not moving production back to the United States,” Leroy said. “We just had an opportunity to develop a new factory with Mazda.
“We are not playing any political games,” he added.
US President Donald Trump has threatened tariffs to curb auto imports and is working with Republican officials to woo investment in domestic production.


Lufthansa to freeze hiring, cut costs over coronavirus

Updated 26 February 2020

Lufthansa to freeze hiring, cut costs over coronavirus

  • ‘All new hires ... will be reassessed, suspended or deferred’
  • Lufthansa has also slashed connections with Hong Kong in the face of reduced demand

FRANKFURT AM MAIN: German airline Lufthansa said Wednesday it would freeze new hires and use unpaid leave and additional short-time work to cut costs to help cushion the economic impact of the novel coronavirus.
“To counteract the economic impact of the coronavirus of the early stage,” the group, which also owns carriers Austrian and Swiss, said in a statement that “all new hires ... will be reassessed, suspended or deferred.”
Employees would be offered unpaid leave and more part-time work and the group would also seek to cut administrative costs, it said.
“It is not yet possible to estimate the expected impact ... on earnings,” the group said, adding that it would provide more details at its annual results press conference on March 19.
The Frankfurt-based group said 13 of its aircraft were grounded, after it canceled all flights to and from mainland China by its flagship airline, as well as Austrian and Swiss until March 28.
Lufthansa has also slashed connections with Hong Kong in the face of reduced demand “and additional frequency adjustments to and from Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich are planned,” it said.