Toyota's decision affects its facilities in the entire North American continent, from Canada to Mexico, but only for a limited period of time, from March 23 to March 25. During this time, “a thorough cleaning at all of our manufacturing facilities” will be conducted to clear all potential hazards.
Nissan is giving more time off to its employees in the U.S., starting on March 20 and ending with April 6. “The company is taking this action to boost containment efforts where possible around the COVID-19 coronavirus,” Nissan says and adds that it has no confirmed coronavirus infection within its ranks.
Volkswagen is closing the Chattanooga facility for a week starting March 21. The Germans say they will offer full pay during this production shutdown period for all team members at the factory.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and will take any and all additional steps as they become necessary, communicating updates as they are available,” the carmaker said in a statement released on Thursday, March 19.
The coronavirus pandemic is reaching biblical proportions, with the European continent at its center. Worldwide, the pandemic has affected over a quarter of a million people, and the death toll has surpassed the 10,000 threshold.
In the U.S. there are around 15,000 confirmed cases, and over 200 deaths. Work on a possible vaccine is underway, but there is no estimate as to when one should become available.