Toyota’s massive truck plant near San Antonio had a one-week head start on its Detroit 3 competitors when its workers returned to their jobs May 11, but that didn’t translate into an extra week’s worth of new Toyota Tundras and Tacomas.
In fact, the plant didn’t produce a single vehicle for three days.
After meticulous preparations and the retraining of 3,000 workers and supervisors to do their jobs within new social distancing protocols after a seven-week shutdown, the plant built just five pickups May 14 and 10 the next day, said Kevin Voelkel, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas.
“It’s not about building trucks; it’s about building trust. And if I can build trust, then building trucks is easy,” Voelkel told Automotive News last week.
Toyota had planned a slow start to retrain its workers after shutting down all 14 of its active assembly and parts plants across North America on March 23 because of the COVID-19 threat, but Tacoma and Tundra inventories were already pinched…