After over two months of closure, the local auto industry is relieved that operations at all its facilities, including assembly plants, can resume. As the summary of new vehicle sales showed, the Total Industry Volume for the months of June and July were at rock bottom, and for August, there remain only two weeks in the month to do business.
Nevertheless, it is good news that showrooms can open again, and customers can visit them to make purchases. Besides serving customers, the showrooms will also be rushing to register and deliver new vehicles to customers, while plants will also be trying to meet the backlog of orders.
“Resuming our business activities, especially at Toyota and Lexus retail outlets, will enable a return to some form of normalcy so we can move forward and do our part to help in the economic recovery of the country,” said Ravindran K., President of UMW Toyota Motor.
Strict adherence to SOPs
He said that the company understands the seriousness of preventing the spread of COVID-19 and will follow all the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), conditions and guidelines provided by the Health Ministry and the National Security Council. These will be implemented throughout the company and will be strictly followed to ensure the safety of the public as well as its employees.
“In fact, after the MCO last year, we already implemented many of the SOPs at our showrooms and service centres, and these have been maintained even until now. These include temperature scanning of everyone, registration with MySejahtera, use of hand sanitisers and facemasks, and regular sanitisation of premises,” he said.
“Vehicle owners visiting service centres are also requested to make appointments in advance. As far as possible, contactless payments are encouraged and social distancing is to be observed at all times. We assure our customers that we have made sure that our premises have a safe environment for them to visit,” Mr. Ravindran added.
Specified capacities for factories
On the resumption of manufacturing activities, Mr. Ravindran said the two assembly plants and related factories in the UMW Toyota Motor group will be able to operate at specified capacities, depending on the percentage of workers who are already vaccinated, with full capacity permitted if more than 80% are vaccinated. “The company has been carrying out a vaccination programme and all our employees have already been vaccinated or will be vaccinated very soon,” he said.
“Now that the restrictions are lifted, we have more certainty as there are many important plans in the pipeline. For example, we have been preparing for the local assembly of Toyota Hybrid Electric Vehicles and while the past 2 months have disrupted planning, we will now proceed as quickly as possible to make up for the time lost,” said Akio Takeyama, Deputy Chairman of UMW Toyota Motor.