Kurt Verlin
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Toyota Extends Shutdown Again, Will Build Face Masks

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The Toyota shutdown of production has been extended again

Toyota has further extended the production shutdown at all of its automobile and component plants in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Production is now anticipated to resume on April 20, up from the planned date of April 6 (which itself was extended from March 25).

The automaker said it took this action because of “our desire to protect the health and safety of our team members, business partners, and communities” as well as because of the significant decline in market demand and the increasing social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It added that it would “continue to monitor the situation and take appropriate action in a timely manner.”

Toyota announced that its hourly team members would continue to be paid their full rate through the week of April 6-12, but that for the intervening week before production resumes, they would have to either take vacation days or unpaid time off. “Given the sales impact to the business, we will not be able to extend the pay period beyond what has been designated thus far,” the manufacturer said in a statement.

In the meantime, Toyota will begin mass-producing 3D-printed face shields in addition to ventilators, respirators, marks, and a variety of other items like safety glasses, gloves, blankets, and cotton swabs.

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Face masks produced by Toyota Motor North America
Photo: Toyota

This is on top of the $500,000 donation it made to The United Way and to the thousands of emergency relief items it has been donating to local and nonprofit organizations, and Toyota says it plans on continuing to make such donations to support the communities in which it operates.

Toyota is also providing support to companies to help teach them how to increase their capacity for necessary medical supplies, helping hospitals and communities organize more efficient drive-through COVID-19 testing sites, and providing payment relief options to lease and finance customers of Toyota and Lexus vehicles who have been affected by the virus.

Finally, the automaker is replacing its March sales event with a new ad campaign dubbed “We’re here for you,” while Lexus is launching its own variant titled “People First.”

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