Toyota suspended production of the Tundra pickup and Sequoia SUV for three months, starting Aug. 8, because of poor sales. Now the automaker is asking suppliers to refrain from laying off their employees during the suspension.
The shutdown of the Tundra and Sequoia assembly lines has cost suppliers millions of dollars.
On Aug. 27, Toyota executives met with suppliers in Erlanger, Ky., to spell out their request. One supplier executive who attended the meeting described the audience as "eerily quiet" during the presentation.
One supplier, Toyota-controlled Denso International America Inc., is complying.
"We haven't laid off anyone, and we're doing everything we can to avoid it," says Julie Kerr, spokeswoman for Denso International America. "That's our philosophy as a company. This situation will eventually turn around, and when it does, our work force will be ready."