It looks like the COVID-19 situation in The Land of Smiles is improving as Toyota Motor Thailand recently announced that all plant operations have resumed in the country.
Initially, the company restarted operations at the Samrong, Samutprakarn; and Ban Pho, Chachoengsao factories last May 11. It was then followed by the reactivation of the automaker's Gateway plant which is also located in Chachoengsao. The three factories were shut down since early April due to the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the country.
Michinobu Sugata, president of Toyota Motor Thailand (who also led Toyota Motor Philippines from 2010 – 2015), stated that they were able to resume production smoothly and safely due to the efforts and support by the company's stakeholders, suppliers, and employees.
“I would like to express my sincere appreciation toward the efforts and supports by all of our stakeholders including suppliers and employees, so we managed to resume production smoothly and safely. We are also very much grateful to our customers for their loyalty toward our products. The safety and security of our employees and all of our stakeholders are paramount to us. With that kept in mind and under the guidance and support of the relevant authorities, we will continue working hard with all of our stakeholders to navigate this challenging time,” said Sugata.
Despite the resumption of plant operations, Toyota said that they will have to adjust the production of each model along the assembly lines. Furthermore, they will also be modifying shift operations in order to address local and international demand, while also adhering to health and safety protocols to ensure the workforce in all factories are safe from the disease.
The Samrong plant builds and assembles models of the Toyota Hilux and the Fortuner for Thailand. Meanwhile, the Ban Pho plant is dedicated to the production of the Hilux meant for export markets. Finally, the Gateway plant serves as the company's flagship facility as it builds the Vios, Yaris, Corolla, Camry, and the CH-R for both local and international markets.
With all of Toyota's factories resuming vehicle production, this could mean that TMP will have no problems sourcing models like the Hilux, Yaris, Corolla, and even the Camry from Thailand. As more and more Toyota dealerships in the Philippines reopen, the restarting of Toyota Motor Thailand's factories couldn't have come at a better time.