Toyota will match American workers' donations for quake relief

Manufacturing not affected yet

ssloan@herald-leader.comMarch 16, 2011 

Toyota's manufacturing plants in North America are launching a donation drive among employees to assist earthquake and tsunami relief efforts in Japan.

The manufacturing operations, headquartered in Erlanger, in Northern Kentucky, will match dollar for dollar all donations from North American employees, temporary workers and contractors, spokesman Rick Hesterberg said. There is no cap on the match, he said.

Toyota is coordinating with the Cincinnati chapter of the American Red Cross, given its proximity to the headquarters' operations. The Kentucky-led effort comes on top of an announcement by the Japanese company that it will donate $3.75 million to relief efforts.

The company's manufacturing operations in North America expect no immediate effect from the earthquake, which damaged numerous manufacturing plants in Japan, including four Toyota subsidiaries. To ensure worker safety, though, Toyota has halted production at all plants in Japan, including subsidiary manufacturers, through Wednesday.

Most parts in vehicles produced in Georgetown and other U.S. plants are made in America, but some come from Japan. The Georgetown plant's workers had rarely been working overtime to build more vehicles this year, and Hesterberg said the company will not schedule overtime "until we get a further handle on supplier conditions in Japan."

Reach Scott Sloan at (859) 231-1447 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 1447.

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