Toyota output back on track in December after semiconductor cutbacks

Automotive Industry

Source: Automotive News Europe, 2021-11-12

Production is back on track at Toyota, with all plants and production lines in Japan scheduled to operate normally in December for the first time in seven months.

Global production will reach 800,000 units in December, up from 760,000 units the same time in 2020 as the company was racing to recoup output from the pandemic slowdown.

Toyota said all 14 plants and 28 production lines in Japan will be "operating normally" for the first time since May. 

The country's biggest automaker also kept its production forecast unchanged at 9m units for the fiscal year ending 31 March, 2022. The automaker plans to manufacture 500,000 vehicles overseas and 300,000 in Japan next month.

Toyota is coming off a production cut in November that followed similar cutbacks in September and October as the automaker felt the bite of the pandemic and global microchip shortage.

In announcing the December production plan on 12 November, Toyota cautioned that there is a "continuing shortage of some parts" but that the company was working with suppliers to "deliver as many cars to our customers as quickly as possible."

Toyota said last month that it expected output to recover in December and that the company would do all it can to make up lost volume later in the fiscal year ending 31 March, 2022. 

Toyota had largely confounded the industry by ramping up output and notching record profits despite the double hit of a pandemic and the microchip shortage. But over the summer, Toyota finally succumbed to the global slowdown and joined rivals in pulling back production.

Despite the chip shortage, output cutbacks and stagnant sales, Toyota delivered a 48% surge in operating profit in its July-September fiscal second quarter.

And citing aggressive cost control and beneficial foreign exchange rates, Toyota also lifted its full-year profit forecasts to near record levels, even as it trimmed its sales outlook.

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