Tags: Chavez | toyota | plant | nationalization

Chavez Takes Aim at Toyota Plant

Thursday, 24 Dec 2009 10:34 AM


CARACAS -- Venezuela President Hugo Chavez threatened Wednesday to expropriate Toyota Motor Corp's (TM) local assembly plant if it doesn't produce more vehicles designed for rural areas and increase technology transfer.

Chavez said Toyota needs to transfer more new technologies and manufacturing methods from headquarters to its local unit in Venezuela, adding that other foreign auto assembly plants are also guilty of not doing enough of this.

Chavez said his socialist government is going to apply strict quotas regarding the number and types of vehicles firms can produce. He ordered an immediate inspection of Toyota's facilities to see how many "rustic vehicles" they are currently producing.

"They'll have to fulfill (the quotas), and if not, they can get out," said Chavez during a televised address. "We'll bring in another company."

He said if the inspection shows Toyota is not producing what he thinks it should and is not transferring technology, the government may consider taking over the facilities and have Chinese companies operate it.

"We'll take it, we'll expropriate it, we'll pay them what it's worth and immediately call on the Chinese," Chavez said. Chinese firms, he said, are willing to make vehicles made for the countryside.

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