Toyota to restart two more European manufacturing plants on May 11

  • Following the restart of Toyota Motor Manufacturing France (TMMF) and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Poland (TMMP), two more Toyota manufacturing facilities are set to restart production gradually next week
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey (TMMT) and Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK Deeside plant (TMUK Deeside) to commence operations as of 11th May, starting initially on reduced volumes
  • Extensive set of preventive health and safety protocols implemented at both plants supported by employee induction days

Brussels, 8 May 2020 – Toyota Motor Europe (TME) will gradually resume production at two more manufacturing sites from May 11 following the recent restart of its French and Polish plants.

TMMT, Toyota’s vehicle plant located in Sakarya, Turkey, will first welcome its team members on May 11 and use the initial day as an induction to the new protocols put in place to ensure their safety and good understanding of the new work environment. Production will then start at reduced volume on May 12 before gradually ramping up in the following days and weeks in response to developing market conditions. TMMT produces the Toyota C-HR and Corolla Sedan.

As it manufactures petrol and hybrid engines for TMMT’s vehicles, Toyota’s engine plant located in Wales (UK), Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK Deeside will also restart production next week. It will follow the same step-by-step approach including two days of induction and familiarisation to the new safety protocols, social distancing and hygiene measures that have been put in place, after which production will gradually resume as of May 13.

Restart decision

The decision to restart these two production operations is based on various considerations but fundamental has been the ability to ensure the sites’ safety by implementing thorough and detailed hygiene and social distancing recommendations.

Another factor considered is the start of easing of lockdown measures announced by various European countries’ or regional governments, which will also make possible a reopening of car retailer showrooms in some countries and a restart of new vehicle sales – but on a gradual basis. Supply chain readiness has also been secured.

Production had been suspended since 18 March at TMUK Deeside and 21 March at TMMT, following the acceleration of the coronavirus in various European countries 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.

For the moment, production at Toyota’s other manufacturing sites in Europe, namely TMUK Burnaston (Corolla hatchback and Touring Sport), Toyota Peugeot Citroen Automobiles (Toyota AYGO) and Toyota Motor Russia St. Petersburg (Camry and RAV4), remains suspended based on vehicle demand and stock or government lockdown measures. However, readiness preparations and planning are under way for a production restart in the coming weeks.

Priority to safety

Production at TMMT and TMUK-D is to restart progressively, on reduced volumes, which will help prioritise the health and safety of employees and other partners. The experience gained after a successful restart of production activities at TME’s plants in France and Poland served as a blueprint and was adjusted to local authorities’ recommendations and the specificities of each worksite.

A detailed list of sanitary measures has been put in place, in line with authorities’ recommendations and guidelines. These have been validated by management and employee representative bodies and will be continuously audited, reviewed and improved as required. Sufficient time will be taken to inform employees of the strict hygiene protocols and to allow them to develop the confidence to operate in these new working conditions.

The health and safety protocols include (non-exhaustive list):

  • Keeping to recommended social distance where this has been feasible, by respecting floor marking and one way traffic signage, and implementing additional measures in other instances
  • Frequent and thorough hand sanitising and/or washing
  • Mandatory use of masks (distributed onsite)
  • Increased cleaning frequency of shared facilities
  • Detailed plant preparation for the ‘new normal’ and thorough simulations of the new measures
  • Adaptation of work schedules to avoid large gathering of people and reduce crossings
  • No or limited catering offer at restaurant, disposable cutlery only
  • Benchmarking with local automotive industry

Social contributions

During the production suspension period, all of Toyota’s manufacturing plants have maintained onsite project work such as maintenance activities, equipment upgrade, and future project preparations.

Plants also actively contributed to supporting their surrounding communities’ health services.

  • TMMT has contributed to society building on its manufacturing skills and expertise. TMMT not only donated 30,000 face masks and 7,500 face covers to local hospitals in Sakarya and Istanbul, but TMMT members also produced in-house 13 medical testing booths and donated them to hospitals. These booths allow medical staff to test people for the coronavirus without coming into contact with them. A donation to enable the purchase of four ventilators by a Sakarya hospital was also made.
  • Our plants in the UK have been supporting a number of local and national initiatives. For the NHS trust, TMUK has been involved with the reception, testing, repair and refurbishment of medical equipment. 3D printed visors have been provided to hospitals and care homes in England and Wales as well as the creation of a 3D printed ventilator adaptor. On a national level in collaboration with Made Here Now, TMUK is supporting the creation of respirator hoods for NHS staff. Numerous donations have been made to local charities with causes ranging from foodbanks to mental health.Specifically at TMUK in Deeside, contributions includes the supply of visual manning boards for control in a local hospital, on top of the provision of personal protective equipment and hand sanitiser to local Council and care homes. They also offered logistics support to local supermarkets and donated to food banks in the region to support those most in need.