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Vehicle firms on snow's hit list
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2008-01-31 14:33

General Motors Corp and Toyota Motor Corp, the world's largest car makers, have both cut production in China amid the country's worst snowstorms in five decades.

GM, the biggest overseas auto maker in China, canceled some shifts at two car-making ventures this week, it said in an email obtained by Bloomberg News yesterday.

Toyota yesterday closed a plant, capable of making 100,000 vehicles a year, in the northeastern city of Tianjin.

Honda Motor Co, Nissan Motor Co and Ford Motor Co have also all reduced production as more than two weeks of snow in eastern, central and southern China causes transport logjams and power shortages. Auto makers may open plants on weekends or for extra shifts to cover any shortfalls, analysts said.

"The auto makers can make up for lost production," said Koichi Ogawa, who helps oversee US$28 billion at Daiwa SB Investments Ltd in Tokyo. "The impact is probably limited."

Toyota hasn't decided whether it will re-open the Tianjin plant today. GM expects to recoup its lost production in the "near future," it said. The car maker operates ventures in Shanghai and the southern city of Liuzhou with SAIC Motor Corp, China's biggest auto maker.

Honda, Japan's second-biggest car maker, shut a 120,000- vehicle-a-year plant in eastern Hubei Province yesterday. The company wasn't able to say when production would resume or how much production had been lost because of the stoppages.

Nissan closed factories in Hubei and southern Guangdong Province on Tuesday. It plans to restart the Guangdong plant today and the Hubei factory tomorrow, according to spokesman Mitsuru Yonekawa.

Ford and Mazda Motor Corp plan to resume operations at their car and engine factories in Nanjing today.

Chery Automobile Co., China's biggest car maker without an overseas partner, has stopped production at its plants in Hubei, it said.

Source:Shanghai Daily 
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