Automakers suspend Egypt operations amid violence

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Large automakers General Motors, Suzuki Corp and Toyota Motor Corp have put their Egypt productions and operations on hold following violent events in the country.

U.S. auto giant General Motors (GM) said Thursday that it has closed its Cairo office and stopped production due to the unrest in Egypt, AFP reported.

Nikkei news business news reported that Toyota Motor Corp and Suzuki Motor Corp also halted production in Egypt due to political turmoil in the country, according to Reuters.

“We made the decision to close our Cairo office and halt production operations in our plant in 6th October City,” Reuter quoted a GM spokesman as saying in a statement.

“The safety and security of our employees is of paramount importance to us. We will continue to monitor the situation closely,” he added.

GM produces light duty trucks, passenger cars and minibuses in Egypt and employs more than 14,000 Egyptians, the company said.

More than 600 people were killed in Wednesday's assaults on two Cairo protest camps of supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammad Mursi, in the country’s worst violence in decades.

Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd too has evacuated Japanese expatriates from Egypt, stated Nikkei.

Toyota suspended operations at a contract manufacturer that makes Fortuner sports utility vehicles, it added.

A decision on whether to resume the operations on Friday and beyond will be made based on developments in the country, the Japanese daily reported quoting a Toyota public relations official.

(With AFP and Reuters)

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