April 23, 2020 / 7:32 PM / a month ago

Toyota to gradually resume North America production starting May 4

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a Toyota logo at the Tokyo Motor Show, in Tokyo, Japan October 24, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su

(Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) said on Thursday it expects to gradually resume North American production starting May 4 and will impose significant new safety procedures after it halted operations in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The largest Japanese automaker said it expects production will be slow next month. The company added it is not yet clear when the industry will be allowed to resume operations in Mexico. Toyota will add temperature checks for all plant employees, personal protective gear, use “touchless” entrances and exits and will even bar non-emergency use of elevators.

“There is no going back to normal for the foreseeable future,” said Toyota Motor North America chief administrative officer Chris Reynolds, who said he expects production will ramp up later in May “to meet consumer demand.”

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chris Reese

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