Production Update: Toyota and Volkswagen Ready to Go, Honda Hangs Back

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
production update toyota and volkswagen ready to go honda hangs back

You just read how an announcement from the United Auto Workers poured cold water over the Detroit Three’s tentative plans to resume vehicle assembly in the United States, but non-domestic automakers don’t have that problem.

Sure, they still need to grapple with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, devising new methods of keeping plant workers safe while carrying out the business of building cars, but early May still looks promising to several large industry players. With U.S. auto sales entering a slow rebound, almost everyone’s itching to get started.

On Thursday, Toyota said that, beginning the week of May 4th, it “intends to gradually resume its North American manufacturing operations in compliance with federal health and safety guidelines, and local and state ordinances where our facilities are located.”

New safety protocols will be in place, Toyota said, as it turns on the lights and “carefully” ramps up production in Mexico, the U.S., and Canada.

Honda’s taking a different approach, deciding yesterday to sit it out for another week. The automaker now saws it will idle production through May 8th, saying it “must continue to take steps that align product supply and business expenses with market demand.” Powersports production in South Carolina will resume on May 4th, however.

In Chattanooga, TN, Volkswagen of America is ready to come back online on May 3rd — a return helped by newly lessened state coronavirus measures.

“We’ve dedicated the past several weeks to implementing stringent health and safety measures,” said plant president Tom du Plessis in a statement. A 90-point list of health measures will greet returning workers.

“After assessing the current situation, we’ve decided to resume production under clear safety measures and with the health of our employees as our highest priority.”

Elsewhere in the industry, Nissan says it won’t resume U.S. production until mid-May, with Hyundai, Kia, and BMW targeting May 4th.

[Image: Toyota]

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  • DC Bruce DC Bruce on Apr 24, 2020

    The question for all these non-unionized plants is one they have to ask their lawyers: what's our legal exposure if one of our workers gets sick and dies? The fact that the governor of the state where the plant is located says it's o.k. doesn't relieve the company of its obligation to have a safe workplace. Of course, there's the possibility of some legislative relief . . . but don't count on that.

  • Roader Roader on Apr 24, 2020

    Non-workers of the world, unite! “When we talk about this idea of ‘reopening society,’ you know, only in America, does the President, when the President tweets about liberation, does he mean go back to work. When we have this discussion about going back or reopening, I think a lot people should just say ‘no,’ we’re not going back to that. We’re not going back to working 70 hour weeks just so that we can put food on the table and not even feel any sort of semblance of security in our lives.” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, today

  • Cprescott I remember when Fords were affordable.
  • Cprescott As a once very LOYAL FORD buyer, I had to replace my 22 year old Ford (bought new in 1997) once it finally started to have problems at 180k miles. I would have gladly purchased something like this from Ford but they abandoned me as a car buyer. Oddly, Hyundai still builds cars in a variety of flavors so I became a customer of theirs and am very happy. Likely will consider another once this one gets up in mileage.
  • SCE to AUX A friend once struck a mounted tire that was laying flat in the middle of her lane on the PA Turnpike. She was in a low late-90s Grand Prix, and the impact destroyed the facia, core support, radiators, oil pan, transmission, subframe, and suspension. They fixed it all.
  • Dukeisduke Lol, it's not exactly a Chevrolet SS with Holden badging.
  • Dukeisduke Years ago, I was driving southbound along North Central Expressway (south of Mockingbird Lane, for locals), and watched a tire and wheel fall out of the bed of a pickup (no tailgate), bounce along, then centerpunch the front end of a Honda Accord. It wasn't pretty.