Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation, has postponed indefinitely the opening of its second plant in Bangalore following Friday’s twin disasters in Japan.
The Rs 3,200-crore plant with capacity to produce 70,000 cars annually was to be inaugurated in Bidadi near Bangalore on March 15. Etios, the sedan developed for the Indian market, and Etios Liva, a hatchback due for launch in June were to be produced at the new plant.
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, Minister for Heavy Industries Praful Patel, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) Chairman Fujio Cho and Japanese Ambassador to India Akitaka Saiki were among the invitees to the event.
“Yesterday a tragic disaster of great proportion has overtaken Japan when a powerful earthquake followed by a tsunami struck northeast Japan rendering millions of people homeless, and at this point in time, a large number of people have been reported dead,” stated a release from TKM.
“We wish to advise that most of the plants of Toyota Motor Corporation are not affected at this point in time. We are, however, assessing the extent of damage to operations of our affiliates, dealer partners and supplier partners located in the affected areas. TKM operations have not been affected. Toyota Motor Corporation has constituted a task force to monitor the situation and take initial measures. All TKM employees working in Toyota Motor Corporation, Japan, are safe,” the release added.
“Under such circumstances we have decided on the postponement of the grand opening ceremony of our second plant,” it further said.
A spokesperson for TKM clarified that production of the Etios sedan will not be affected. “Engines and transmissions are shipped over medium to long-term basis. Production process does not stand to be affected at present.”
Toyota imports engines and transmissions for the sedan from the parent company in Japan. Toyota Motor Corporation has closed two plants in Japan with a combined annual capacity to roll out 420,000 small cars, following the earthquake and tsunami in the country.