Toyota Halts India Production as Wage Dispute Drags
Toyota halts India production as pay dispute drags.Reuters

Toyota Motor has temporarily shut production in India after some workers walked off production lines in protest of a delay in wage hikes, following 10 months of negotiations.

The two factories near Bangalore are Toyota's only vehicle plants in the world's sixth-largest auto market.

The subsidiary, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), shut production on 16 March, a non-production day, and did not state when it would reopen.

Closure would result in a daily production loss of 700 vehicles, Toyota Motor spokesman Naoki Sumino said in Tokyo.

TKM and the union will continue holding talks to resolve the issue, reported Reuters.

Toyota's stock finished 0.22% higher in Tokyo.

A 16 March TKM statement said some workers had, over the past 25 days, disrupted business as the management, labour union and local government negotiated salaries.

"The company is left with no other option but to declare a lockout of the premises to ensure the safety of its workers and management personnel," according to the statement.

The lockout comes just a week after Toyota Motor gave Japanese workers their biggest pay hike in 21 years, and two months after the automaker said political turmoil in Thailand could compel it to revisit its investment plans.

India accounted for just 1.6% of Toyota's global sales in 2013. At that time, the Japanese manufacturer held 4.5% of the Indian market having built 174,000 vehicles and sold 147,000.

The Toyota lockout is the latest incident of labour unrest at Indian auto factories.

A 2012 row at rival Japanese carmaker Suzuki Motor's Indian arm, Maruti Suzuki, left one person dead and over 100 injured, and resulted in a $250m (£150m, €180) month-long production loss.