By on March 27, 2020

For some reason, Ford and General Motors’ efforts to fill gaps in the medical supply chain have garnered considerable press. This has a way of happening when the President yells at you in public.

Tesla and Fiat Chrysler have stepped up to the plate to help out, too, filling a need in a country hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. A collective effort is good, but Toyota Motor North America wants others to know it’s a member of the same team. Make use of us, it’s telling others.

With North American production shut down just like the others, Toyota has pivoted to the production of medical equipment — specifically, personal protective equipment (PPE) like face shields and masks, while at the same time laying groundwork for ventilator production.

According to the automaker, 3D-printed face shields, seen below, will begin production next week at an unspecified manufacturing site (that’s almost certainly its San Antonio, Texas plant).

“The first distribution will be to MD Anderson in Houston, UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and other hospitals in Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan,” the company said in a statement.

Filtering masks will roll out of Toyota facilities just as soon as it finds a partner for that filter, the automaker added, noting that agreements with two companies are now in the finalization stage. Once sealed, the pact will lead to production of much-needed ventilators.

Toyota did not list the two potential partners, nor the exact nature of how it planned to boost output.

“With our plants idled and our dealers focused on servicing customers, we are eager to contribute our expertise and know-how in order to help quickly bring to market the medical supplies and equipment needed to combat the COVID crisis,” TMNA’s incoming CEO, Ted Ogawa, said in a statement. “Our message to the medical equipment community is we are here to help, please utilize our expertise.”

With a significant manufacturing footprint in North America and an incredibly loyal fanbase, seeing Toyota sitting this one out would be unusual. Americans have bought more than 2 million Toyotas per year for six years running, with the automaker’s market share not falling below 12 percent for the last eight.

[Images: Toyota]

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62 Comments on “Fighting Coronavirus Isn’t Just for the Domestics...”


  • avatar
    EGSE

    Sigh. Another article about coronavirus. Here we go again….

  • avatar
    Guy A

    Tesla has done very little. Buying a few respirators and distributing them compared to others who are actually increasing supply. Plus keeping their factory open another week was a bad move and now that county in CA has a sharp increase in cases.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @Guy A: “Tesla has done very little.”

      That’s total BS. Tesla is partnering with Medtronic to make ventilators in Buffalo.

      https://arstechnica.com/cars/2020/03/tesla-plans-to-retool-solar-panel-factory-to-make-medtronic-ventilators/

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    I was disappointed to hear GM essentially had to be forced to do the right thing. My fat broke a– helped bail them out 10 years ago! They should be more grateful. Unfortunately for them they can’t build them in China but the nation will appreciate it.

    • 0 avatar
      ttiguy

      Came here for this……LOL not disappointed. Only on TTAC will you find this type of cluelessness! Good stuff keep it up

      • 0 avatar
        Superdessucke

        You must be a General Motors worker? Hope you keep your job :-)

        • 0 avatar
          ttiguy

          What a fat & broke (your words) loser. Sounds about right (shakes his head and walks away)….

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Like any 2-bit bully Trump insults and calls people names,

            Then if anyone insults or challenges him, he cries that they are being mean or disrespectful or engaging in a witch hunt.

            He has denied any responsibility for mishandling this issue, but then claims responsibility for any measures taken to correct his mistakes.

            Someone posted quite correctly that like all con men, Trump’s primary focus is on staying one or two days ahead of his marks. The people that he has conned, scammed, or not paid. That means lying to them or misleading them (he calls it ‘giving them hope’) when they attempt to corner him.

            A key component of being successful at these scams is to convince your ‘mark’ that you are independently wealthy, do not need their money and that you are ‘doing them a favour’.

            They also generally have a string of ‘corporate’ bankruptcies in their history. Meaning that their creditors/investors, and often their contractors and employees have not been fully paid.

            I have seen far too many of these scammers in my lifetime and anyone who has can recognize their MO immediately.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Spot on, Arthur :)

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          No you dumba$$, GM announced they were doing this several days ago. Trump “ordering” GM to do something they were already in the process of doing was for no purpose other than to puff up his image as HMIC.

          and of course his sycophants just eat it all up unquestioningly.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            No, JimmyZ, they weren’t. Even IL Governor J.B. Pritzker, who hates Trump with the intensity of 1,000 suns, praised Trump’s invocation of the Act. That’s because he, along with other states, were going to take it in the rear by our ingrateful GM if he hadn’t.

            Stop reading Vauxnews and expand your horizons. Dang you’re dumb :-( No amount of shouting or name calling is going to make you look smart. Now run along and read!

    • 0 avatar
      fusaichi_pegasus

      id rather not have incompetent GM engineering involved

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Ingrate. The American public isn’t going to forget what happened last time. I hope they don’t bail you out this time.

    • 0 avatar
      bts

      Then who’s going to save America from the next Republican screw up?

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        How many more Republican screw ups do you think the world can take?

        • 0 avatar
          bts

          “How many more Republican screw ups do you think the world can take?”

          The world will be just fine. But it’s clear that America’s time of dominance is coming to an end. If only its people would wise up and vote in someone who will actually fight for the country, and not for his ego.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      GM accelerates “Project V,” March 23

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-autos-ventilators/gm-accelerates-project-v-to-build-ventilators-in-indiana-idUSKBN21A2Y4

      The DPA was invoked 5 days later on the 28th. The only interruption was because Trump- apropos of nothing- decided hospitals “didn’t need all of the ventilators they were asking for.”

      and then he goes on with his wannabe mob boss schtick and threatens Michigan because Whitmer wasn’t nice enough to him.

      So at best, him invoking the DPA was just cleaning up a mess he made. And you just sit there with your mouth agape going “hurr durr GM sucks amirite?”

  • avatar
    bts

    General Motors was already going to make ventilators and sell them to the American States that needed them the most before the idiot’s latest Twitter rant.

    The decision to use the defence order is only to save face and try to take away from General Motors’ own decision to make them and be a hero.

    That said, no automaker would be having to make ventilators if the idiot had actually done a proper job of handling the outbreak in the first place.

    A sad fact is that America would have been better off if he had spent the last 3 months golfing instead of dismantling efforts to control the spread.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      Or defending himself from the impeachment proceedings? Yawn. Leftist goofs are going to try to blame this whole thing on the President. But the approval ratings show you’re kind of in an echo chamber.

      And the American public knows where the blame belongs. I think some in the industry might be worried about the problematic relationship we have with China that this is serving to highlight. A GM without a strong China will have a lot of difficulty.

      And no, GM wasn’t already going to make the ventilators. Well, they were, for a price. They kept backtracking and trying to increase their profit. Good for the Administration to force them to do the right thing, though it shouldn’t have been necessary given how kind we as taxpayers were to GM just 10 years ago. The invokation of the Defense Production Act was widely praised across party lines and by State governors who were about to get bent over by GM. Ingrates.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “And the American public knows where the blame belongs”

        You bet we do

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “And the American public knows where the blame belongs. ”

        idiots like you who blindly follow this guy.

        guy uses you like a hand puppet and you act like people who disagree with you “can’t think for themselves.”

        • 0 avatar
          Superdessucke

          Baaahhhhaaaa! You are owned, JimmyZ. As Lie2me said, this whole thing isn’t really funny. But watching the liberal melt down is.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Super: The USA has the highest number of positive COVID cases. It’s death rate is now considerably higher than that of most ‘advanced’ nations.

            The US government had a plan in place and a team in place. The current POTUS disbanded the team. The current POTUS ignored the plan. The current POTUS dismissed the issue for a period of 2 months.

            And who is to blame?

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          “idiots like you who blindly follow this guy”

          I seriously hope that at the end of the day the partisan divide in this country doesn’t mask the fact that the blame for this rests solely on corrupt officials in China that allowed for unregulated food markets to flourish allowing for an unsafe food supply from where unregulated meat was seen as “part of the culture” versus something that should have been shut down and people jailed.

          You can fault responses the world over, but short of dropping a nuke on Wuhan when the first cases were reported, once the genie was out of the bottle it was going to spread and that was directly attributable to failures in the Chinese regulatory system and frankly, when this is controlled I hope the world remembers that.

          If you are focused on blaming Trump or Pelosi you are simply carrying the water for the Chinese Communist Party.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Art, it may have started in China, but it’s OUR problem now, pointing the finger at China isn’t going to save one life here, but proper crisis management will and that’s where the responsibility lands with a loud thunk

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Fine @Lie2me, but this will be all over one day and we can judge all that. We need to learn from our response and make changes accordingly. But the blame lies with the Chinese Government and if we let them off the hook we are idiots.

            When the bill comes due, it is absolutely time to point those fingers at China.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Art Vandelay – China fvcked up and tried to conceal it but not from the rest of the world but from its own public. That is how totalitarian regimes operate. Global travel just seeded the rest of the world.
            Now that it is in our own respective countries we can’t blame the Chinese for how it is being managed locally.
            You mention “the partisan divide”. That is already making the USA response worse than it already has been. The cheeto-in-chief’s mixed messages, denial, lies and now “let ‘er rip, let ’em die” to save the economy has taken a firm hold in many of his supporters.
            Trump just said he’d quarantine New York because people from that area are traveling to places like Florida. New York is democratic and Florida is Republican. Pundits have said that once SARS-CoV-2 takes hold in red states, his election hopes will tank. Quarantining this to keep it in blue states and watching the copses pile up in those areas won’t hurt him nearly as much as that occurring in red states.

      • 0 avatar
        bts

        Impeachment was long over when this virus started. Basically, Americans are stupid. But they can only be fooled for so long.

        Thank goodness for your hero calling it the Chinese Virus, that’ll improve the relationship.

        The DPA was enacted not too haggle on price or to force GM into production. They were already producing them and at their cost to build them. Furthermore, the government just handed out the largest stimulus package and a huge tax break to corporations, and now a few dollars matter? The reason the DPA is suddenly used is so the Federal government can try to get the ventilators first.

        Exactly like when the Federal government recently overbid States for medical supplies. The White House is no better than that guy you see at the store buying all the toilet paper and hand sanitizer, then selling it online.

        Now the Feds are going to extort States to do their dirty work in order to get medical supplies and ventilators. The White House admitted and boasted about it.

        • 0 avatar
          Superdessucke

          Why are Governors like IL’s J.B. Pritzker, who hate Trump more than half of you clowns, praising the invocation of the Act?

          And ooooo, he called it the “Chinese Virus.” Aw. I know you’re worried about our relationship with China, as you probably work in the U.S. auto industry, which became utterly dependent on them. That gravy train is going to end though. One great thing that’ll come of this.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          But it is a virus that jumped to humans in Wuhan, China because corrupt goverent oversight allowed for illegal meat markets that sold unregulated and ultimately unsafe meat. Or am I missing something?

          Yes, a pandemic can start anywhere be it the third world or the United States…but not this one. This one needed specific conditions that would not have existed had the Chinese Government been doing their job on even the most basic of levels with respect to food safety.

          The world should know this and know when you do business there you are propping these people up. This is a fault of their system. It should be called out. Good lord the world has no issues calling ours out.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Art:There are ‘wet markets’ throughout most of the 3rd and 2nd world nations.

            Buying a live animal and watching it being butchered or purchasing an entire animal carcass ensures that you are actually getting the type of meat you want and not something being passed off as that type of meat.

            And some ‘exotic’ animals are sold or hunted for use in traditional or naturopathic ‘medicines’.

            They have been the origin point for many pandemics, including most likely the source for Ebola.

            However ‘cultural and moral relativism’ have delayed attempts to curtail these practices.

            We should forget about political correctness and focus on the damage that allowing these practices have inflicted. Even traditional ‘Asian’ medicines were so effective, then why have they not prevented or eliminated these viruses?

            I grew up in Toronto when it was so clean that it was called “New York City run by the Swiss”. Yet I remember ‘wet markets’. Kensington Market, Little Italy, ‘Chinatown’. Each had live animals in cages awaiting butchering or recently killed animals strung up and hanging from shop windows.

            Attempts to close or alter them were met with cries of ‘discrimination’. But we have eventually closed most of them. And public health has improved as a result, despite Toronto being much more crowded than at any previous time in its history.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Agree @arthurdailey, but China Claus to be a first world nation and a rival power to us and the west. Fine. Time to act like it. As bad as this is, what if it had been something akin to Ebola? Millions of people don’t travel daily to those sort of third world nations. It is time to stop with the “developing nation” bs with respect to China and frankly I think time for the west to unite and say you are going to help clean up this mess and additionally if you don’t stop your shady human rights BS we are going to start treating you like the rotten dictatorship that you are.

            Vote Trump out. Fine. I voted for him and I watch his press conferences and shake my head in disbelief as to how he circles it back to being about him. But I’ll deal with him at the ballot box. China needs to be dealt with financially over this.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “But it is a virus that jumped to humans in Wuhan, China because corrupt goverent oversight allowed for illegal meat markets that sold unregulated and ultimately unsafe meat. Or am I missing something?”

            no, you’re not missing anything. but right now, the house is on fire so it’s more urgent to try to put it out than figure out who set it.

            once the dust settles, hopefully China gets hauled into endless come-to-Jesus interrogations and other countries realize they need to keep more of their own destinies in their own hands.

            alas, money talks too loud for that to happen. there’ll be some token apologies and toothless sanctions, and that will be that.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I wish he would go golfing… forever :)

  • avatar
    bts

    That’s what extortion is haha. I just explained to you. Any praise is false praise done just to get supplies to help their residents. Pritzker just wants to help his people.

    I’m not in auto or the US.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    It is becoming apparent that the end-of-the-world predictions, computer models warning of an apocalyptic black plague worldwide, are all wrong.

    Those paying attention were warned that the worse-case scenarios were hysterical, by the likes of Stanford epidemiologist John P.A. Ioannidis.

    In dramatic fashion, U.K. Imperial College scientist Neil Ferguson published a doomsday scenario on March 16. Now, just ten days later, he has reversed his outlook, essentially settling on a prediction no worse than a bad flu season.

    Most telling, the two U.S. public health icons, Drs Fauci and Birx, are both saying the extreme models that provoked extreme measures bear little resemblance to the actual data on the ground. From the New England Journal of Medicine March 26 co-authored by Fauci:

    This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.

    https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2020/03/weve_been_had_and_trump_knows_it.html

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      https://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/detroit-auto-show/2020/03/28/coronavirus-detroit-auto-show-canceled-tcf-center-hospital/2934331001/

      once again, p!ss off.

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        The data from South Korea, where tracking the coronavirus has been by far the best to date, indicate that as much as 99 percent of active cases in the general population are “mild” and do not require specific medical treatment. The small percentage of cases that do require such services are highly concentrated among those age 60 and older, and further so the older people are. Other things being equal, those over age 70 appear at three times the mortality risk as those age 60 to 69, and those over age 80 at nearly twice the mortality risk of those age 70 to 79.

        These conclusions are corroborated by the data from Wuhan, China, which show a higher death rate, but an almost identical distribution. The higher death rate in China may be real, but is perhaps a result of less widespread testing. South Korea promptly, and uniquely, started testing the apparently healthy population at large, finding the mild and asymptomatic cases of Covid-19 other countries are overlooking. The experience of the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which houses a contained, older population, proves the point. The death rate among that insular and uniformly exposed population is roughly 1 percent.

        https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/20/opinion/coronavirus-pandemic-social-distancing.html

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          Canadian data is that 6% of those confirmed as infected require hospital care, and that 3% require prolonged hospital care.

          Since hospitals in Canada and the USA regularly operate at just over 95% capacity, the increased load if infections continue unchecked will indeed overwhelm our healthcare systems.

          In Ontario since the ‘shut down’ has been implemented the number of people visiting emergency departments for other issues, the number of motor vehicle accidents and instances of violent crime have all decreased signficantly.

          This alone has helped to free up space at hospitals.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Stats just revised on the 11:00pm news. 7% requiring hospitalization. 3% requiring critical care. Just over 40% of those being hospitalized are under the age of 45.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            That’s interesting. Compared to NYC your overall hospitalization rate is much lower at 7% vs 20% but your under-45 hospitalization percentage is much higher 40%+ vs 21%.

            twitter.com/ArmstrongDrew/status/1243362419398729728

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            “That’s interesting. Compared to NYC your overall hospitalization rate is much lower at 7% vs 20% but your under-45 hospitalization percentage is much higher 40%+ vs 21%.”

            Selection bias, NYC as everywhere else that’s overwhelmed is largely testing people sick enough to show up at the hospitals so milder cases aren’t being measured.

            North Italy is showing a 15% death rate.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Arthur Dailey – Today’s BC data shows the following COVID-19 data:
            14% (1 in 7) require hospitalization x 12 days
            19% (1 in 20) require critical care. 80% of this group will require mechanical ventilation. Earlier mechanical ventilation appears to improve outcomes.
            BC is able to handle an outbreak at the level that China experienced.
            On a side note: 1/3 of cases are under 40 years old.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “The experience of the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which houses a contained, older population, proves the point.”

          I don’t know if the Diamond Princess is really the case to make the “overreacting” point. 712 infections out of 3711 passengers and crew is 19.2% infection rate. 10 deaths out of 712 is a 1.4% case fatality rate.

          Extrapolate those numbers out to the entire US population and you get about 870K dead. That isn’t 2M, but it is still a lot of coffins.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            “I don’t know if the Diamond Princess is really the case to make the “overreacting” point. 712 infections out of 3711 passengers and crew is 19.2% infection rate. 10 deaths out of 712 is a 1.4% case fatality rate.”

            Keep in mind that the Diamond Princess cluster started with one passenger and spread to 712 in about five weeks. The spread didn’t just stop on its own at that point, it was stopped by removing the 3,000 uninfected passengers and crew from the ship.

            We don’t have a sterile world to stop the experiment and remove ourselves to when our infection rate hits 20%.

            Extrapolate that out to 60-80% for this to burn out for lack of new victims, and add what the hospital situation will look like with 30% of the country sick at once, and 2M coffins probably won’t be enough.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          “… indicate that as much as 99 percent of active cases in the general population are “mild” and do not require specific medical treatment.”

          South Korea’s excellent outbreak tracking indicates that 1.5% of all diagnoses are currently dead. 45% of cases are unresolved and some of those will die too.

          South Korea has tested the chit out of everyone that they can place anywhere near a known case, 99% of which are coming back negative, so if there’s a large pool of asymptomatic cases to make the mortality rates less terrifying then they’re hiding awfully well.

          Yeah it’s technically more akin to flu than to SARS/MERS, 2% is linearly closer to 0.02 than it is to 10, but 2% of the world is an awful lot of suffocating.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Dan – One person shedding SARS-CoV-2 infects three others. The fact that it isn’t lethal to 80% of its hosts means it is very adept at replication.
            One can debate the actual death rate but as we have seen in Wuhan province and Italy, the high death rates are mostly attributable to a overwhelmed health care system.

            An overwhelmed system will also result in deaths of unaffected people who require hospitalization due to a lack of resources. In British Columbia, our COVID -19 death rate has been relatively low and our health care system is holding but “we” created capacity by cancelling all elective non-emergent cases.

  • avatar
    threeer

    I hope that when this passes that America comes upon the realization that we have become totally dependent on China and that we take back our independence and ability to provide for our own country. But the realist in me knows that once we are able, we will run right back out and begin massive consumption of cheap goods from a country that is neither friend or ally. We could be leading the effort to solve this, much like we have done in the past, but I fear our desire and ambition to take the reigns had long passed…

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