Plano-based Toyota Motor North America has put its efforts related to the COVID-19 crisis in overdrive.
The carmaker is making monetary “in-kind” donations, using several of its North American facilities to fabricate face shields, and collaborating with medical device companies to hasten the manufacture of ventilators, respirators, and other devices for hospitals.
“Toyota’s core value has always been to contribute to society in meaningful ways beyond providing mobility for our customers,” Ted Ogawa, incoming CEO of Toyota Motor North America, said in a statement. “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.”
Ogawa wants the medical equipment community to know Toyota is there to help, and urges others to utilize the company’s expertise. (Medical device companies and related businesses seeking support in the areas of manufacturing, engineering, supply chain, and purchasing can send inquiries here.)
Here are actions the company has taken to help curb the virus in communities nationwide:
Face Shields: Toyota is working to produce 3D-printed face shields, and mass production will kick off early next week. The first distribution will be to UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, MD Anderson in Houston, and other hospitals in Indiana, Kentucky, and Michigan.
COVID-19 Masks: The company is ready to produce COVID-19 masks, and currently is seeking partners for filters.
Ventilators/Respirators: Toyota is finalizing agreements to begin working with at least two companies that produce ventilators and respirators to help increase their capacity.
Toyota Production System Support Center (TSSC): The company is offering manufacturing/engineering know-how support to companies to increase their capacity for necessary medical supplies and equipment and will continue to be available to assist them. Toyota currently is working to support hospitals/communities on organizing efficient drive-through testing sites.
Customer Financing: Toyota Financial Services (TFS) and Lexus Financial Services (LFS) are providing payment relief options to customers who are affected by COVID-19. Toyota Financial’s lease and finance customers may be eligible to take advantage of contract payment extensions or lease deferred payments. TFS and LFS are also providing options to assist customers at or near the end of their lease who are impacted by the pandemic.
Advertising: Toyota pulled its March sales event advertising and started running a new national ad campaign with an optimistic message to let its customers know that at Toyota, “We’re here for you.” Lexus also will release its own advertising this week to reassure luxury customers that it puts “People First.”
Donation of Supplies: Toyota has made significant donations to hospitals, emergency management teams, and first responders, including items such as masks, safety glasses, shoe/boot covers, gloves, blankets, and cotton swabs.
Community and Business Partnering Groups: Toyota has made significant monetary donations to United Way, food banks, and other nonprofits that help those in need. Also, the company’s Business Partnering Groups are providing mentoring, university lecturing, and health and safety tips for employees.
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