Up until now, it's mainly been the Big Three domestic automakers committing to manufacture medical supplies for the fight against coronavirus in the United States. Today, Toyota has pledged to join in by saying it will produce masks and face shields. It also has plans to help boost the production capacity of ventilators and respirators with at least two unnamed companies.
Ted Ogawa, incoming CEO of Toyota Manufacturing of North American said this in a statement:
"Toyota’s core value has always been to contribute to society in meaningful ways beyond providing mobility for our customers. 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. Our message to the medical equipment community is we are here to help, please utilize our expertise."
Toyota says it’s currently ready to produce masks, but it’s currently seeking partners for filters. The face shields are being 3-D printed now, but mass production is scheduled to kick off next week. These masks are scheduled to be delivered to hospitals in Texas, Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan. The ventilator support isn’t as robust as Ford’s and GM’s intentions to actually produce the machines. Instead, Toyota plans on working with other companies to help increase their production capacity.
The Toyota Production System Support Center is offering its "manufacturing/engineering know-how support to companies to increase their capacity for necessary medical and equipment." It’s also helping to support communities in organizing efficient drive-through testing.
Donations are continuing. Just the other day, Toyota donated $500,000 to the United Way for emergency relief. In addition to that, it’s donated extra medical supplies it had.