Toyota has joined Detroit automakers in halting all production at its facilities in North America. The quickly evolving Coronavirus situation is leading to unprecedented closures throughout the auto industry, however, Toyota’s decision isn't quite as unprecedented as those from Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and General Motors. That’s because Toyota will only shut down for two days – March 23 and 24 – to clean its plants before firing everything back up.
Meanwhile, its counterparts in Detroit collaborated with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union to begin a systematic shutdown of its facilities in the region, with the doors staying closed until at least March 30. During this time, the plants will undergo a deep clean to help curtail further spread of the virus which has thus far infected 3,536 people in the U.S. per the March 18 update from the World Health Organization. After March 30, the decision to restart operations will be reevaluated.
The shutdown at GM, Ford, and FCA came amid pressure from the UAW to close operations for two weeks. Toyota isn’t affiliated with the UAW.
Here is Toyota’s complete statement:
Toyota is temporarily suspending production at all of its automobile and components plants in North America, including Canada, Mexico and the U.S. The manufacturing facilities will be closed from March 23-24, resuming production on March 25, 2020. Our service parts depots and vehicle logistics centers will continue to operate.
This action is being taken to help ensure the health and safety of our employees, and due to an anticipated decline in market demand related to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will conduct a thorough cleaning at all of our manufacturing facilities during the shutdown. This also will allow Toyota employees to prepare and adjust family plans in relation to regional directives to close schools. 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.