Toyota misses its April-June output target, but says it may be turning a corner

Tokyo-Toyota Motor’s April-June quarterly production fell about 10% below its original plan, but automakers said the lockdown on China’s COVID-19 was eased and demand outside Japan recovered. He gave a more optimistic view of the business after August.

The world’s largest automaker in terms of sales said Thursday that production and sales are on the way to recovery, achieving a record global car production target of 9.7 million units in the year to March 2023. I’m expecting.

A spokeswoman said, “We expect a recovery trend, including in Japan, but the future is unpredictable.” be. Consumers may be more cautious about spending as it hits Japan and soars fuel prices.

Toyota said it produced 793,378 cars worldwide in June. This was slightly above the two-time cut target of 750,000 units, down 4.6 percent from the same month last year.

Toyota produced 2,120,577 units in the first quarter of April-June, 9.8% below its initial target of 2.35 million units.

“The industry as a whole and Japanese automakers were in turmoil in April and May,” said Koichi Sugimoto, an analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities. “It’s getting better with each passing month.”

Toyota said overseas production reached record levels in both June and the first half of the calendar year, reaching 587,005 units and more than 3 million units, respectively.

Global chip shortages are an open issue, but regions with few chips used in auto parts, such as Europe, are less affected, with June production up 12.4% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, Toyota’s domestic and North American plants have been hit hard by the lack of semiconductors as they manufacture state-of-the-art vehicles that use more chips, such as the luxury brand Lexus.

Relaxing the blockade in Shanghai also helped increase China’s production by 42% in June. Production has recovered from the pandemic in other Asian countries as well.

Mr. Sugimoto said that he cannot expect a significant improvement in the semiconductor shortage, but said that Toyota’s target of 9.7 million units this year will be gradually improved, saying that it is “not impossible”.

Toyota calls the April-June quarter an “intentional cooling-off” period to ease the burden on suppliers by notifying them of changes in production plans as soon as possible.

Due to the occurrence of COVID-19 at one supplier and a defect in production equipment at another supplier, the production target for June was first reduced in late May, blamed for the blockade, and then reduced again in mid-June. Did.

On Thursday, it announced that it plans to reduce its domestic production in July by another 200 units to 4,200 units because the supply of parts was cut off due to heavy rain.