Kurt Verlin
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Toyota Suspends Production Until April 3

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2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid production at TMMK
Photo: Toyota

Toyota has announced it is officially suspending production at all of its automobile and components plants in North America through April 3, with production expected to resume on April 6.

“This action is being taken to protect the health and safety of our employees, key stakeholders and communities, as well as a result of the significant market decline due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the automaker said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor the situation and take appropriate action in a timely manner.”

Toyota had, just one day before, declared it would suspend production at its manufacturing plants on March 23 and 24, with production resuming on March 25. At the time, it had said it would conduct a thorough cleaning at all of its facilities during the shutdown, but it clearly and quickly deemed this would not be enough.

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“This also will allow Toyota employees to prepare and adjust family plans in relation to regional directives to close schools,” the automaker also said about the production suspension.

There are 14 Toyota manufacturing plants across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and while the automaker says its service parts depots and vehicle logistics centers will continue to operate, it’s likely to reevaluate the production suspension just as it has once already.

In shutting down production, Toyota has joined various other automakers including Ford, GM, Hyundai, and Nissan, all of which have also reacted in a similar manner to the coronavirus pandemic. But with confirmed cases rising across the country and the economy on a sharp decline, the automotive industry is being dealt a major blow.

The silver lining is, as Toyota itself acknowledged in its initial announcement, that because the market demand is expected to decline, it’s less necessary to keep the manufacturing plants open. Nonetheless, it will, unfortunately, affect thousands of people’s incomes.

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