• Kyodo, Bloomberg


Toyota Motor Corp. will resume production at a plant in Tianjin in stages, starting on Thursday, after it was shut two weeks ago due to powerful explosions in the northeastern Chinese port city, a company official said Wednesday.

In addition to the Xiqing factory, the officials said the automaker will restart output later this week at another plant in Tianjin, about 2 kilometers away from the site of the deadly explosions, that had suffered damage.

The two plants operated by Toyota’s joint venture with the FAW Group Corp. were closed for summer holidays at the time of the Aug. 12 blasts that killed more than 130 people.

The disaster took a broader toll on the auto industry, damaging 2,700 Volkswagen AG vehicles, shutting a nearby Hyundai Motor Co. logistics center and forcing Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. to divert car shipments to Shanghai. The warehouse that exploded stored about 1,300 metric tons of oxide compounds, the official Xinhua News Agency has reported, citing Tianjin Vice Mayor He Shushan.

Tianjin FAW Toyota built about 440,000 Crown, Reiz, Corolla and Vios cars last year, almost half of Toyota’s annual vehicle output in China.

Toyota has said its operations will restart once the company is able to confirm the safety of its facilities and the surrounding area.

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