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Toyota, Honda close factories

Toyota and Honda halted production at factories in southern China after two suppliers’ plants were closed by strikes, extending disputes at parts makers in the nation to at least eight in the past month.

Toyota’s factory in Guangzhou, Guangdong province remains closed today after output was suspended yesterday morning because of a strike at a Denso Corp venture, Hitoshi Yokoyama, a Beijing-based spokesman for the carmaker, said. Honda closed two plants in Guangzhou after a walkout at NHK Spring Co, said Natsuno Asanuma, a Tokyo-based spokeswoman at Honda.

 

Strikes have spread since Honda agreed last month to raise wages at a parts supplier by 24 per cent to end a stoppage that halted its production in the world’s largest auto market. The unrest at foreign-owned factories in China reflects a shrinking supply of low-cost labour in the nation.

“This illustrates the growing pains the Chinese auto industry is going through,” said Ashvin Chotai, London-based managing director of Intelligence Automotive Asia Ltd, an industry consultant. “It’s facing the same labour problems seen earlier in developed nations. Over the long term, manufacturers need to have a range of contingency plans,” such as getting the same parts from multiple suppliers, he added.