Toyota and Honda have temporarily stopped production at their Malaysian factories as the government imposes a total lockdown in response to soaring numbers of COVID-19 cases, Reuters said.
Under strong criticism for not doing enough to arrest the crisis, the government has ordered what it describes as a “total lockdown” from 1 June to 14 June. This means large swaths of the manufacturing sector must shut down, though some manufacturers are exempted.
According to Reuters, a Toyota spokesperson said the firm will suspend sales and production in Malaysia from today (Tuesday) onwards, noting that the firm hasn’t decided when to resume production. A spokesperson for Daihatsu Motor, a Toyota subsidiary, said the company will also stop production during the total lockdown period.
Last year, Toyota made 51,000 vehicles in Malaysia, while Daihatsu Motor churned out about 220,000 vehicles.
A Honda representative indicated that the company will temporarily shut two factories during the lockdown period, but expects them to restart production from 15 June. Those factories produce approximately 100,000 cars and 300,000 motorcycles per year.
Given the situation, 15 June may be a rather optimistic date. Manufacturers may want to take a leaf from Sony, which is making a rapid shift to unmanned production at its Malaysian factory.
Relatedly, Toyota and Honda are certainly not the only companies facing production disruptions because of COVID-19. For example, Foxconn factories in India and Vietnam have been adversely affected by outbreaks in those countries.