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Toyota says factory lines in Tianjin shut until weekend
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Aug 19, 2015


Volvo Cars sees profits, China sales drop in first half
Stockholm (AFP) Aug 19, 2015 - Swedish automaker Volvo Cars, owned by China's Geely, reported Wednesday a drop in first half profits as sales tumbled in its biggest market, China.

Net profit plunged by 60 percent to 173 million kronor (18.3 million euros, $20 million), while turnover climbed by 12 percent to 75.2 billion kronor.

Operating profit surged by more than 70 percent to 1.66 billion kronor, thanks to a strong US currency and robust sales of Volvo's SUV model XC60.

Volvo's overall car sales in terms of units rose by 1.4 percent to 232,284 during the first half.

The strongest sales growth was registered in Sweden and western Europe, while remaining stable in the United States and declining in China and the rest of the world, including Russia.

Volvo went through several dark years before returning to profit in 2013. In 2014, it beat its sales record from 2007, selling almost 466,000 vehicles. CEO Hakan Samuelsson told Swedish news agency TT the company expects to sell 500,000 cars this year.

The number of Volvo employees has risen by 10 percent in the past year, to 28,000 worldwide.

Despite its economic slowdown, Volvo plans to boost its presence in China and has acquired 50 percent of three joint ventures from parent company Geely: two assembly plants and one research and development centre.

Geely paid $1.8 billion to buy Volvo from US carmaker Ford in 2010.

Toyota on Wednesday said at least 67 employees were injured after giant explosions last week in the Chinese city of Tianjin, where the carmaker's factory lines will remain closed for the next few days.

Production at Toyota's Tianjin subsidiary -- including a factory line 70 kilometres (44 miles) away that depends on parts from the main operation -- has been halted since the blasts.

"We last confirmed that over 50 employees who live in the surrounding area, including in company accommodation, have been injured," a company spokesman said in Tokyo.

"The updated number is 67," the spokesman said.

"Since we have been unable to confirm the safety of the area in the vicinity of the blast, we have decided to keep production offline from August 20 through August 22," he added.

Toyota's operations had been shut for a week's summer holiday when the explosions occurred, with production due to restart Sunday, so there was no immediate impact on production from the disaster.

The main Tianjin factory, which produces several models including the Corolla and Vios sedan, has about 12,000 employees and manufactured 440,000 vehicles last year.

The deadly blasts also damaged a pair of Toyota dealerships that required them to temporarily close, while some other Japanese firms including Panasonic and carmaker Mazda reported minor damage at their operations in Tianjin.

bur-si/kb

Toyota

Panasonic

Mazda

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