Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez threatens to expel Toyota

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 25, 2010

The scarcity of all-terrain models to serve people in under-privileged areas caused Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez to turn on Toyota, the world's biggest automaker, which he threatened to expel unless it fills this requirement. Chavez is demanding for Toyota to produce an all-terrain model of 4x4 vehicles to be used for public transport in poor and rural areas.

In a speech made last week, Chavez said that he would not hesitate to expel and expropriate plants from other Asian and U.S. automobile companies operating in Venezuela if they failed to share technology with locals.

In addition, Chavez remarked that the country must force Toyota to make the rustic model.

Otherwise, Toyota will be asked to leave and another company will be brought in. He mentioned that the Chinese want to come and make rustic models.

Chavez made these comments during a ceremony in Caracas to hand owners the keys to economically produced cars that Venezuela's government has imported from Argentina.

Chavez has been in power for a decade now and has nationalized large swathes of the Venezuela economy -- including the oil and power sectors -- as part of his "21st century revolution." So far, he has left car manufacturing relatively untouched.

Topics: toyota, venezuela

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