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Toyota to lift lockout at Indian factories

Assembly work halted due to breakdown in wage talks

Bloomberg

Toyota Motor Corp. will resume production in India after an impasse with union workers over wages led to a temporary lockout and halt in assembly work.

The carmaker’s Toyota Kirloskar Motor venture told Indian authorities that work will restart at its factories near Bangalore on Monday, the company said in a statement.

The shutdown began March 16 after labor disruptions and threats to management.

Workers can return to their posts “after signing a simple undertaking on good conduct,” Toyota , the world’s largest automaker, said in the statement.

Toyota called for the lockout after a breakdown in negotiations that began last year.

The company has built vehicles in Asia’s third-largest economy since 1999. The company’s India facilities build the Camry, Corolla Altis and Etios cars, the Innova van and the Fortuner sport utility vehicle.

Auto sales in India are headed for the first annual drop since the fiscal year ended March 2002, as slowing economic growth, rising interest rates and unstable fuel prices hurt demand.

Toyota’s deliveries to the Indian market declined 19 percent to 22,194 vehicles in the first two months of this year, according to statements on the company’s website.

Toyota’s U.S. depositary receipts fell 1 percent to $107.61 at the close in New York on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the automaker agreed to pay a $1.2 billion penalty to end a U.S. criminal probe after the recall of more than 10 million Toyota vehicles. The depositary receipts have fallen 12 percent this year.