Toyota, Honda Plants Among Hundreds Closed by Thai Floods

by | Oct 18, 2011

Honda and Toyota have stopped all production in Thailand as that nation’s floods continue to rip through industrial parks, and now threaten Bangkok.

Thailand is a major production base for the two Japanese car-makers, according to CBS.

At least five major industrial parks have been flooded (earlier coverage here) and hundreds of factories shut down, putting over 100,000 out of work. Thailand’s Central Bank said the floods’ total cost could rise to 100 billion baht ($3 billion). Since late July, the floods have killed at least 307 people, Reuters reports.

Over 200,000 people were evacuated yesterday from Thailand’s oldest industrial park, Nava Nakorn in Pathum Thani, according to Bangkok-based The Nation. About 10 percent of the estate was flooded, CBS reported.

Companies with operations there include Nestle, Toshiba, Casio, Seiko and hard drive manufacturer Western Digital, which already had to shut down production at another factory park.

The flooding is likely to affect other companies operating in other countries, as they face a shortage of key components.

And last night Bangkok’s governor said the city needs 1.2 million sandbags within 48 hours to keep the capital from flooding. The national government had said earlier on Monday that the flood threat to Bangkok appeared to be subsiding.

Because of the floods, industry has called on the government to ditch plans for a 40 percent rise in the minimum wage, Reuters reports. Thai authorities instead pushed back the start date for the increase, from January 1 to April 1.

The change will set the minimum wage at 300 baht a day for Bangkok and six other provinces, with lower wages for the rest of Thailand’s 77 provinces.

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