NEW YORK – Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday it plans to resume auto production in North America next month, after halting operations in March due to a slump in sales amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Beginning the week of May 4, Toyota intends to gradually resume its North American manufacturing operations in compliance with federal health and safety guidelines and local and state ordinances,” the automaker said in a news release.
Toyota suspended production on March 23 as car sales in the United States had plunged and in line with large-scale social distancing measures intended to help stop the spread of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
The firm saw its U.S. car sales drop 36.9 percent from a year earlier.
“We will continue to follow all safety guidelines and monitor vehicle demand as we carefully ramp up production,” the carmaker added.
Fellow Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co.. said in a separate news release the same day that it would extend the suspension of operations at its factories in the United States and Canada by a week, to end on May 8 instead of the previously scheduled May 1.
In practice, operations are most likely to resume at the beginning of the following week on May 11.