August 1, 2020
With the spread of new coronavirus, the Toyota Corp, the biggest automarker, is providing medical support to counter the COVID-19. This support activity is called Kokoro Hakobu Project. In fact, this project is a long-term support activity, originally started to support areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake that occurred nine years ago. The name of the project means to carry or deliver one’s heart along with things to people and place in need. This time, as well, Toyota has started to contribute in some way to people who has contracted and are struggling with a coronavirus.
Toyota Group announced its support for corona in the beginning of April 2020, and gradually expand its support from the middle of April. They provide a lot of support activities under the this project.
Providing Direct Assistance
They have three direct initiatives. First of all, they decided to produce face masks. By self-sufficiently supplying the masks needed within the group, they contributed to reducing the amount procured from the market.
Secondly, they also provide face shields to the medical site. Toyota initially produced 500 to 600 shields in a week and it has expanded to 8,000 in the week, which is about 20 times more than before. This is provided to local medical institutions and governments where each group company is located. Also, they provide special vehicles to transport seriously infected patients. Each van is equipped with a transparent wall between the front and back spaces and is designed that the air in the back seats does not circulate forward. It is possible to carry patients safely and prevent drivers from infection.
Finally, Toyota directly assists people working in the medical field. Toyota Motor Corporation offers cars to those who need to move during the time of self-restraint at a reasonable price. Toyota Mobility Foundation has started an on-demand shuttle bus service in Thailand and Manila. This is a system that allows commuters to make reservations by specifying the boarding location and time from the app. By providing these commuting methods, it has become possible to reduce the burden of commuting and prevent infection.
Toyota also provide joint supports with other company. Toyota Financial Services Co., Ltd. and Kinto Co., Ltd. sponsored the support activities for medical staff by Mellow Co., Ltd., which operates the food truck business, and Carstay Co., Ltd., which operates the sharing business of camper vans. This support is to send food trucks and campers to hospitals in the Kanto area from the beginning of May, and provide free meals and rest space to medical staff who treat COVID-19.
In this way, the Toyota group is still expanding its supports of Kokoro Hakobu Project by utilizing the manufacturing and logistics knowledge of the automobile industry, as well as their global supply chain. There are various place and industries to support and Toyota continues to deliver the heart to the disaster site along with things.