CORRECTED – CORRECTED-(OFFICIAL)UPDATE 1-Toyota to suspend Thai plant operat

(Corrects references throughout to suspension from closure.
Company corrects statement that it planned to close the factory.
It plans to suspend operations at the plant. Also deletes
reference to possible liquidation of factory)

* Plant suspension due to fall in demand – spokeswoman

* Fortuner, Vigo production to move to other Thai plants

* No job cuts, workers to transfer to other factories
(Updates throughout with details, background)

TOKYO, May 14 (BestGrowthStock) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: ) said it
would suspend one of its four vehicle plants in Thailand as the
economic crisis hammered exports.

Toyota said on Friday it would suspend operations at its Thai
Auto Works (TAW) factory, which builds the Fortuner and Vigo
multi-purpose vehicles, at the end of this month, transferring
production to two other Thai plants that also build the two
models.

The Thai factory, in Samrong, on the outskirts of Bangkok,
began operations in 1988 and has been producing about 60,000
vehicles a year, mainly for export to Europe and the Asia-Pacific
region. Toyota does not disclose the factory’s annual production
capacity.

Toyota’s total production in Thailand fell by nearly a
quarter to 435,000 units in 2009.

The decision to suspend production at the factory had been
reached last November as part of Toyota’s ongoing efforts to find
ways to more efficiently make use of its global manufacturing
facilities, a spokeswoman said.

TAW’s 960 workers would be transferred to Toyota’s other Thai
factories, the spokeswoman said.

Many automakers have been burdened by excess capacity as the
global economic crisis hit demand for cars in the past year and a
half. Toyota is especially vulnerable after it raced to build new
factories around the world over the past decade to meet runaway
demand for its popular cars.

Toyota has said it would also aim to bring its annual
production capacity in Japan down to about 3.2 million units over
the next five to six years from 3.9 million now, by reorganising
its assembly lines, and without any plant closures.

Toyota’s shares fell 1.9 percent in morning trade in Tokyo,
mirroring a fall in other auto stocks.

Investing Research

(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim)

CORRECTED – CORRECTED-(OFFICIAL)UPDATE 1-Toyota to suspend Thai plant operat