The pandemic is to blame again.
Toyota is quite busy at the moment. It is preparing to reveal its new Land Cruiser soon and is working on two new three-row SUV offerings. But not everything that the Japanese automaker is dealing with right now is positive. The Tacoma is currently experiencing a component shortage, and now news has reached us of a shutdown at the company's manufacturing plant in Ontario, Canada. The cause? A Covid-19 outbreak at one of Toyota's biggest suppliers, Toyotetsu. The supplier has voluntarily shut down operations after eight of its employees tested positive, and this is now holding up the supply of important parts.
The manufacturing plant is located in Simcoe, Ontario and supplies Toyota with parts like brake pedals, hood locks, radiator supports, and rear suspension components for the three Toyota plants in Ontario that produce the RAV4 and the Lexus RX 350 and 450h (hybrid) SUVs. The closure by Toyotetsu was announced on the company's Facebook page on April 26, the same day it happened.
Fortunately, the closure shouldn't take too long as the eight employees are part of a 1,200-strong workforce, and if that workforce tests negative, work should resume shortly. The company has announced that all protocols are being followed and that it is working with the Health Unit to figure out a safe date to return to work.
The knock-on effect is bigger for Toyota, however, as its three affected plants that are not being supplied employ more than 8,000 people. While Toyotetsu has informed its staff that they will all be paid until at least the first of May, with more information on payroll to follow, Toyota hasn't indicated how its staff are being repurposed in the meantime or if they are back at home.
Either way, it just goes to show that the pandemic is not yet behind us and can still have severe consequences for those who are lax with following government guidelines on the virus.