Toyota restarts production in Venezuela after six months

August 19, 2016 11:32 PM EDT

Toyota automobile logo seen in Paris, France, February 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mal Langsdon

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(Reuters) - Toyota <7203.T> said on Friday it had restarted its Venezuelan factory after six months without producing vehicles because of hard currency shortages, good news for the South American nation suffering a roiling recession that has closed many factories

Auto output in Venezuela plunged 86 percent in the first six months of the year because of shortages of parts, most of which are imported.

"A few weeks ago, we restarted our assembly operations here in the Cumana plant for our three models, Corolla, Hylux and Fortuner," said Rafael Chang, Toyota Venezuela's president, in a televised event.

The company plans to start exporting cars in the first half of 2017 as well as supplying the local market, the executive said. Since last year, Toyota has been exporting parts from Venezuela as a way of keeping its operations afloat.

(Editing by Nick Macfie)

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