COVID-19 has forced yet another automaker to pause production. That automaker is Toyota as they have recently announced that they will be suspending all plant operations in North America.
However, it will be a (very) short pause as they will close the plant starting March 23 and reopen on March 25. These include the facilities in Canada, Mexico, as well as in the US. The company also mentioned that both automobile and components plants will be closed. However, service parts depots and vehicle logistic centers will continue to operate.
The decision was made to cease production in order to ensure the health and safety of the workforce amid the COVID-19 pandemic. During the closure of the factories, Toyota will be conducting thorough cleaning at all its facilities. Moreover, the company is also anticipating a decline in market demand related to the economic impact caused by the contagious disease.
More importantly, however, the temporary closure of the facilities will allow Toyota employees to prepare and adjust family plans.
“The safety and security of our employees, stakeholders, and community are a top priority and we will continue to monitor the situation and take action in a timely manner,” said Toyota in a statement.
Toyota Motor North America has a total of 14 facilities. Some of its biggest (and most important) facilities are Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas, and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky. The former builds models such as the Tundra and the Tacoma. Meanwhile, the latter builds a variety of cars like the Camry, Avalon, Lexus ES, as well as the hybrid versions of the aforementioned vehicles. The Kentucky plant also assembles the 2AR-FE and 2GR-FE engines for the North American market.
Another key facility that is also a part of the factory shutdown is Canadian Autoparts Toyota Inc. Located in British Columbia, the facility's main business is making aluminum wheels. Around 1.45 million wheels are built annually at the said plant.
With the (short) factory closure set to happen next week, customers in the US may have to expect some sort of delay in the delivery of their vehicles.