Suzuki, GB resumes production in Egypt

AFP and Reuters, Monday 7 Feb 2011

Toyota and Nissan plants remain closed amid the continuing political unrest

Japan's Suzuki Motor said Monday it had resumed production in Egypt following a week-long suspension in the wake of bloody anti-government protests in the country.

The automaker resumed operations on Sunday at its joint venture plant, which had been closed since 30 January, a Suzuki spokesman said. The assembly plant in Giza, south of Cairo, produces 7,500 small commercial vehicles a year.

Further details, including the possible impact of the turmoil on its output there, were not available, the spokesman said.

GB Auto, Egypt's biggest listed vehicle assembler, said on Monday it too had resumed operations nationwide.

Nissan said its assembly plant, also in Giza, remained suspended as of Monday. The plant produces around 10,000 units annually, mainly of X-Trail sport utility vehicles and pick-up trucks.

Thousands of anti-regime protesters are still occupying central Cairo's Tahrir Square after two weeks of mass street protests against President Hosni Mubarak's embattled regime.

After a fortnight of unrest and more than 300 deaths, pressure is mounting on the regime to negotiate a peaceful transition to more democratic rule.

Toyota Motor, which sold about 15,000 units in Egypt last year, plans to start assembling 3,000 sport utility vehicles annually in the country from early next year.

The company has continued to halt business trips to Egypt, a company spokesman said, adding there is no impact yet from the political unrest on the automaker's production plans in the country.

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