By on February 17, 2010

“Toyota is considering halting production at its factory at Burnaston, near Derby, because of collapsing sales amid the car company’s recall crisis,” London’s Times reports.

This comes on the heels of reported plans to shut two down two plants in the United States for a total of 14 days. According to the Times, Toyota is “reviewing production at its European factories.”

Toyotas recall led to “a collapse in sales for the world’s largest carmaker,” as the Times put it. The January numbers published by ACEA do not reflect a EU-wide collapse of Toyota sales. Toyota held its 5.4 share of the European market. But that was before all hell broke loose.

Toyota’s British plant in Burnaston (Avensis, Auris) employs 3,500 people. Toyota’s engine factory in Deeside gives jobs to another 500. Toyota had already announced plans last month to cut one in five of its workers at Burnaston because of tumbling production levels.

Elsewhere in Europe, Toyota has production plants in France, (Yaris), in Turkey, (Verso and Auris), and in the Czech Republic (Aygo).

Toyota said it wants to mothball at least one production line in Europe.

Whereas the US is in a Toyota frenzy, all quiet at the European front. No official figures of incidents in the UK relating to faulty Toyotas have been released by Vosa, the British vehicle safety agency, nor by the UK Department for Transport. Toyota sais it has no reports of deaths relating to faulty vehicles anywhere in Europe.

However, the European car market is consolidating with the cash-for-clunkers initiatives being phased out. Bad headlines from the U.S. on top of a shrinking market are not inducive to great sales.

And while we are looking at Toyota from a British perspective, read this one. It might convince you to take the train instead. If those darned trains would just stay on track.

Update: According to the Derby Telegraph, “a spokeswoman for the Burnaston plant said that the company was not considering shutting the factory.” Well, halting production and shutting the factory are different. Or maybe, the Times is wrong.

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12 Comments on “Toyota: Plant Closures To Spread To Europe...”


  • avatar
    baldheadeddork

    I thought Toyota’s EU market share slipped from 5.4 in 2008 to 5.0 in 2009.

    And didn’t Toyota recall 1.8 million cars in Europe last month? Was that based solely on problems with US cars?

  • avatar
    riko

    We are still waiting to hear from Toyota. My wife six months ago bought a French made Yaris. Problems with the gas peddle from the first week. She called the garage,and their responce: there is no problem with Toyotas, she is just a silly woman who can’t drive.

    Well Mr.Toyoda-san, this is our last one.

    • 0 avatar

      Let’s face it: Dealing with any aspect of a car dealer is a guy’s job. You are derelict of your husband duties if you let her deal with a dealer or garage. This goes for any brand. It should be different, but it ain’t.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      The habit of blaming drivers for these accelerator problems started at the top and trickled down. The fact is that Toyota has known about problems with the pedal assemblies for years. Everyone from auto company CEOs down through the car wash guy at the dealer is in the habit of blaming the customer.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      So Toyota is treating European customers the same way Volkswagen, Mercedes et al treat their North American equivalents?

  • avatar
    Geo. Levecque

    Having just returned from a EU Country, the EU press where blaming a Factory in the Cheq Republic for the bad pedals on Toyota products,so the blame goes on and on!

  • avatar
    Tricky Dicky

    Ms. Levecque – Toyota makes the Aygo in a JV with PSA (107 and C1) in the Czech Republic. These vehicles are all fitted with the common suspect brake pedal. I don’t think that anybody can seriously blame an assembler for a design flaw.

    As for the dealer comments about the gas pedal Riko, you can hardly blame them. So many customers who turn up in a dealership have failed to read a manual, do the obvious, would like to offset a stupid mistake by blaming the car manufacturer, etc. As there are no known reports of any customers being involved in an accident due to one of the 3 recent recalls (only 2 are happening in Europe), then the dealer really didn’t have any information on which to judge your wife’s complaint.

    We all know something more about it now, but it’s bizarre to criticise them for something they couldn’t possibly know about at the time. I expect those dealers were as shocked as everybody else by the size and extent of this recall.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      Every customer complaint should be taken seriously. Just because many customers are “wrong” doesn’t excuse a dealership from looking into each individual situation.

      There are, in fact, big differences between individual dealerships in how they deal with customers. Some (the few) are terrific, others (the many) routinely treat customers as idiots and marks.

    • 0 avatar
      CarPerson

      …And they never will get to the bottom of this as long as the dealer’s response to every complaint is a canned “Our car is just fine; you’re an idiot.”

    • 0 avatar
      riko

      Tricky,

      Yes, Toyota in France KNEW there was a problem with the gas pedal for a while. The second week she had the car (March)it would not start. She called the 800 number and the first thing they said ‘did you block the gas pedel?’ No she did not. They sent out a repair truck and the guy (non Toyota employee)said they are having a lot of problems with sticky accelorators and Toyotas. This non-starting problem with the gas pedal has happened at least five times leaving her stranded.

      When she called the garage and asked if the problem might be because she had the CTS pedal, they screamed at her how could she possibly know what kind of pedal she had. Well after looking at the TTAC web photos and looking at her car she said she knew eactly what kind of pedal she had.

      The Toyota garage’s answer was still she did not know how to drive.

  • avatar
    crash sled

    Gotta love those Toyota guys. Volumes down? Cut overhead and expense immediately. Probably not much savings available in Europe, I suspect, as they’ve likely got the equivalent of the UAW job bank… at least. Here? Feel the burn, baby.

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