Toyota is to halt production at its UK Burnaston plant due to ongoing disruption to UK-EU freight shipments caused by a French border ban on accompanied UK outbound freight trucks due to the emergence in Britain of a new COVID-19 virus strain.
Toyota is bringing forward the annual shutdown for the Christmas holidays.
The company also said its French plant has been similarly impacted, as has its Deeside (UK) engine plant.
The Toyota statement reads:
“In light of the traffic bans that a growing number of countries have issued for travel from the UK and due to the uncertain nature of how long the borders will be closed for logistics activities, Toyota Motor Europe has decided to come to a controlled stop of its production activities at Toyota Motor Manufacturing France (TMMF) 2 days earlier than the planned seasonal stop, and at Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK) two days earlier and one day earlier than plan, respectively at Deeside and Burnaston operations.
“For our UK operations, this means that TMUK Deeside engine plant will suspend its activities from December 22 and TMUK Burnaston vehicle plant from December 23.
“Both our UK plants have a pre-planned winter shutdown from December 24, 2020, until January 4, 2021, which will proceed normally as scheduled.”
Many countries have banned flights to and from the UK, while France has shut its border to all accompanied freight. The EU is reportedly deciding on a coordinated approach, with more Covid testing of truck drivers at borders emerging as a possibility.