Just as businesses had started gaining momentum under Unlock 1.0, Toyota had to shut down its operations. The manufacturing facility in Bidadi, Karnataka had to be shut down since two employees at the facility tested positive for Covid-19 infections.
These two employees last attended work on June 7 and June 16, respectively. Toyota had just resumed operation on May 26, 2020, after being shut down for two months since the nation-wide lockdown was imposed in March 25, 2020.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor(TKM) had partially restarted operations with a reduced workforce at its plants while all the Strategic Business Units (SBU) office staff at Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata still continued to work from home. However, despite all such measures, two employees at the Bidadi plant tested positive for COVID-19 on 16 June.
Steps Taken By Toyota Kirloskar Motor
The company has extended all necessary help and support to the infected employees where medical treatment and quarantine facilities are concerned. The company is also in touch with the families of these infected employees so as to ensure that they handle the situation in a calm and efficient manner.
As a first step and through appropriate contact tracing, TKM has started identifying all those employees who may have had primary or secondary contact with the infected employees for necessary treatment and quarantine wherever necessary and is in contact with the local Government authorities. Operations at the TKM plant have already been temporarily suspended so that required disinfection can be carried out at the plant.
Earlier, Toyota has issued a statement where they said that they have taken all precautionary measures to ensure social distancing and were even running the plant with a limited workforce. The prompt action on behalf of Toyota to shut down the plant again to prevent further spread is commendable though. Toyota also becomes the third automaker after Hyundai and Maruti Suzuki whose employees tested positive of COVID-19 after resuming operation from late last month. The other manufacturers have however not shut their plants.
Apart from taking care of its employees, Toyota Kirloskar Motors has also handed over a mobile medical unit (MMU) to the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru to scale up COVID-19 testing in the state. This MMU is used as a molecular diagnostic laboratory and tests for COVID-19 are conducted and test results are provided in a timely manner. All patients can be tested at their homes, rather than coming and overcrowding the hospitals. The MMU is particularly useful as it can be driven to areas where there is no medical infrastructure for local communities.
While the factory has been shut, the operations at the dealer end and service centers remain unaffected for Toyota. Toyota resumed its sales and service outlets last month across the country and has even been rolling out special offers on new cars and service packages for June 2020.
Considering the safety and security of its employees and all of its stakeholders as its first priority in mind, the brand will continue to take all possible preventive and remedial measures to deal with the developing situation and work with various stakeholders including the relevant statutory authorities.