THE BIGGER THEY ARE… Toyota’s production issues and related sales declines are now in their 11th month as the brand struggles to bounce back from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
TOYOTA’S global output continues to recede as semiconductor supplies, parts shortages and supply chain disruptions stymie production.
July output fell 8.6 per cent from a year earlier to 706,547 vehicles, Toyota said in a statement this week. The production volume was below both its target of 800,000 units and the July 2021 output of 773,135 units.
Japanese domestic production fell 28 per cent in July but was up marginally elsewhere with a 4.5 per cent increase reported in China, Europe and the rest of Asia.
Sales for the Big T declined globally by 7.2 per cent to 797,179, extending an 11-month trend. Stock shortages have seen declines in many of Toyota’s markets, including Australia. Locally, vehicle lines including LandCruiser 70 Series, LandCruiser 300 Series and RAV4 have been hardest hit as the company struggles to meet demand.
Despite the doom and gloom, Toyota said it is sticking to its fiscal year production target of 9.7 million vehicles through to March 2023 and has maintained its profit outlook.
The car-maker says it plans to raise output through to November, depending on supplies of parts and the availability of personnel. Toyota said it expects September production to rebound globally to around 850,000 units, which would be a record for the month.
Quoting Tokai Tokyo Research Institute senior analyst Seiki Sugiura, a Bloomberg report this week said Toyota is poised to produce between 800,000 and 850,000 units monthly between now and the end of the calendar year.
“In August this year, Toyota is planning to produce about 700,000 vehicles, and considering it made about 530,000 in August last year, I think the situation is starting to improve,” said Mr Sugiura.
“In terms of recovery from the situation in the first half of the year, I believe that in the second half of the year, the company will probably set the monthly production level at 800,000 or 850,000 units a month.
“If production exceeds 800,000 units in a single month, that will be a record,” he said.
The news comes just weeks after Toyota was forced to suspend operations at its Chengdu production facility in western China.
Electricity shortages in the region on the back of the worst summer heatwave in 60 years saw operations at Toyota’s plant suspended for several days as local authorities worked to preserve electricity supply for domestic use.
At the time, a Toyota spokesperson said the company was “monitoring the situation every day and following guidance from the government” but did not reveal how many vehicles would be affected by the suspension.