Toyota president Akio Toyoda recently issued a statement to all the people affected by the Tohuku Earthquake. It comes after a saddening visit to the Miyagi Prefecture, a region greatly devastated by the natural quake.
In addition to his sincere condolences, Toyoda promised to continue to “provide useful support” to the region. He also committed 50 vehicles to be used by relief workers.
Like almost every industry in Japan, the automotive sector took a huge hit in terms of productivity. Various facilities were significantly damaged. Toyota shut down 18 of its domestic plants until April 11, but will continue to build its Prius, Lexus HS250h, and CT200h vehicles.
As you can imagine, individual suppliers were hugely affected. Toyota is rationing 233 in-demand parts that include body panels, pillar assemblies, and shock absorbers.
So far, Toyota and its North American operations have donated more than $5 million to the relief efforts.
Below is the recent statement by Akio Toyoda, and a brief summary of charitable activities:
To All Those Affected by the Tohoku Earthquake
I offer my prayers to all those who lost their lives in the March 11 Tohoku earthquake and its ensuing aftermath, as well as my sympathy to the survivors and their families.
Not only is the struck region one of our production bases, those directly hit and vastly affected include our dealers, suppliers and numerous other partners.
I went to Miyagi Prefecture on March 27. Seeing the devastation with my own eyes brought home to me the depth of destruction and the atmosphere of sadness caused by the disaster. Seeing the situation for myself made me more determined to continue to provide useful support.
I visited government offices in Ohira Village and in Taiwa Town, which have supported our business activities in their locales. I also went to Sendai Port, to our dealerships and to our factories that produce vehicles and parts.
Although time was limited, through visiting the affected area and seeing people there trying step-by-step to get over the agony of their losses, I became strongly determined to return smiles to the faces of the people in the Tohoku region by reviving manufacturing there as soon as possible.
We believe that returning as quickly as possible to daily life can play an important part in bringing the hope of a better tomorrow at our plants, our team members once again working together, supporting each other and creating a positive atmosphere and, at our dealerships, warm and friendly staff once again welcoming customers.
We at Toyota will continue doing all we can to be of assistance to the people affected.
Akio Toyoda, President
Toyota Motor Corporation
Fundraising – More than $5 Million So Far
- Toyota-Dedicated Red Cross Fundraising Websites Have Raised Nearly $1.5 Million in North America – As of March 25th, special fundraising websites set up with the Red Cross have raised nearly $1.5 million from Toyota’s employees, dealers, suppliers, business partners and friends across North America.
- Dollar-for-Dollar Match – Toyota’s North American affiliates are matching donations made by Toyota employees to the American Red Cross and Canadian Red Cross, dollar-for-dollar. (The employee match is not included in the figure above.)
- Donation in Japan – In addition, Toyota in Japan has donated 300 million yen (about $3.75 million) to support the relief efforts.
- Other Major Fundraising – Walk-a-thons last weekend in San Antonio, TX and Lexington, KY brought out hundreds of Toyota team members and other local citizens, raising nearly $60,000 for the relief efforts in Japan.
Relief Efforts in Japan
- Relief Convoys in Japan Continue – Toyota companies in Japan began sending truckloads of medical and emergency supplies – including food, drinking water, blankets, portable toilets and disposable diapers – to victims in affected regions on March 12, the day after the earthquake and tsunami. As of March 30th, more than 60 trucks have made deliveries and six tankers have been sent to provide water.
- Emergency Housing – Toyota is moving to provide nearly 500 apartments in Aichi Prefecture for people evacuated from affected areas.
- Vehicles for Relief Efforts – Toyota is providing about 100 cars for local government authorities to use in four of the areas hardest hit by the disaster.
- Distribution of Emergency Supplies – Toyota dealerships in affected areas of Japan are using their sites as temporary distribution centers for drinking water, food, cold-weather gear and towels to victims of the disaster.