Toyota, Ford keeping factories closed longer than anticipated

GEORGETOWN, Ky. — Toyota will keep its Georgetown, Ky., and other North American factories closed more than a week longer than originally planned in response to COVID-19.

The auto manufacturer said Wednesday it would idle its plants March 23-24 for cleaning and to let workers handle school and daycare closings, then return to production March 25. The move also would close the Georgetown facility this coming Saturday.

But the company announced March 19 that it will extend the shutdown until April 6.

“This action is being taken to protect the health and safety of our employees, key stakeholders and communities, as well as a result of the significant market decline due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Toyota said in a statement.

Ford reassessing timing of North American plants resuming production

The following statement was released by Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president of North America:

Ford’s top priority is the health and safety of our employees, dealers, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders. In light of various governments’ orders to stay and work from home, Ford is not planning to restart our plants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico on Monday, March 30 as originally hoped.

We are assessing various options and working with union leaders – including the United Auto Workers and Unifor – on the optimal timing for resuming vehicle production, keeping the well-being of our workforce top of mind.

We will provide additional updates as details are confirmed.