Toyota closing Buffalo plant for 2 days next week

BUFFALO, W.Va. — Toyota has announced a two-day closure of its plants in North America, including the engine and transmission plant in Putnam County, in connection with the coronavirus.

A Wednesday evening statement from the company said the temporary suspension of production would take place next Monday and Tuesday, March 23-24, at all plants in the U.S. along with production facilities in Canada and Mexico.

“This action is being taken to help ensure the health and safety of our employees, and
due to an anticipated decline in market demand related to the economic impact of the COVID19 pandemic,” the statement said. “We will conduct a thorough cleaning at all of our manufacturing facilities during the shutdown.”

Work will resume with the evening shift on March 24.

Toyota’s sprawling plant at Buffalo produces about a million engines and transmissions a year for nearly a dozen of the automaker’s products. The plant employs 1,800 area residents. They will be paid during the shutdown.

“This (suspension of production) also will allow Toyota employees to prepare and adjust family plans in relation to regional directives to close schools,” the company statement said. “The safety and security of our employees, stakeholders and community are a top priority and we will continue to monitor the situation and take action in a timely manner.”