Coronavirus outbreak forces Toyota to suspend production at European plants

Toyota-PSA joint venture TPCA will halt production at its Czech plant on Wednesday evening, one week earlier than previously planned
By : Sabyasachi Dasgupta
| Updated on: 18 Mar 2020, 04:06 PM
File photo (AP)
File photo (AP)
File photo (AP)
File photo

Toyota Motor will stop vehicle production at several plants in Europe and Asia as the spread of the coronavirus has started to impact carmakers across the world.

In a statement released today, Toyota said it had stopped operations at its plants in UK and Poland from Wednesday. The company's Czech site in Kolin would stop production from Thursday. Operations at its Turkey site would be suspended from Saturday.

Toyota's plant in the Philippines has stopped operations till next month, while its plant in Malaysia will be closed from next week till end of the month. US plant operations have not been affected so far, it said.

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Following is Toyota Motor’s full statement on the shutdown:

First, Toyota offers its condolences to all those around the world who have lost loved ones since the start of this pandemic, as well as its sympathy to any who have been affected by the outbreak of coronavirus. At the same time, we would like to express our sincere respect to the healthcare professionals and government officials who are on the frontline day and night.

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We make decisions based on the safety and security of our employees and stakeholders and in consideration of those currently dealing with this outbreak. We will continue to take action in a timely manner in this very dynamic situation. Moving forward, we will continue to base our decisions on the guidance we receive from authorities in each country and region.

General measures

Across Europe, Toyota entities have implemented a series of measures in line with health authorities’ recommendations in support of their efforts to prevent or slow down the spread of COVID-19, such as: additional hygiene, and cleaning measures; information sharing; request to work from home for office staff; travel restrictions; elimination or postponement of non-essential events or meetings; and social distancing.

Production operations

With the acceleration of the coronavirus in various European countries or regions and the associated “lock-down" measures taken by various national and regional authorities, an uncertain short-term sales outlook and difficulties in logistics and supply chains are being felt and will increase in the next weeks.

TME has consequently decided to organise a progressive suspension of its vehicle and engines/transmissions production plants in Europe starting on 18 March until further notice.

The plants affected will be:

- Toyota Motor Manufacturing France (TMMF) in Onnaing – production already suspended

- Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK) in Burnaston and Deeside – on 18 March

- Toyota Motor Manufacturing Poland (TMMP) in Walbrzych and Jelcz-Laskowice – on 18 March

- Toyota Peugeot Citroen Automobiles (TPCA) in Kolin, Czech Republic – on 19 March

- Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey (TMMT) in Sakarya – on 21 March

Other operations

Processes that are important for society, such as the continued provision of service parts for customer vehicles – which can be public safety vehicles – will continue. Likewise, processes and projects deemed essential to a smooth re-start and to the future activity of the plants, such as new vehicle projects, will be maintained with necessary staff.

Sales operations (retailer sales and service) will be assessed based on each country or region’s situation. In countries where lock-down measures are implemented by government, retailer showrooms have been completely or partially closed. All retailers will remain reachable via electronic communications and telephone for customer care.

First Published Date: 18 Mar 2020, 04:06 PM IST
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