The race for bragging rights amongst the top three promises to stay interesting throughout the year. Toyota just issued new forecasts which pegs global production across all Toyota Motor Corp. brands at 8.04 million. This should worry Wolfsburg. Volkswagen was seen as the clear number 2 after GM in the 2011 race. Now matters are not so sure.
New Toyota Projections For Calendar 2011
Change compared to calendar 2010 actuals
End of June, Toyota shocked the world and excited Volkswagen with the news that TMC sees only 6.8 million cars produced globally by the end of the calendar year. This across all brands, Toyota, Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino. We will focus on this total unless otherwise noted, because this number will be used to determine the global ranking.
When we announced this forecast, our admittedly coarse projection for 2011 had GM at 9.3 million for the end of the year, and Volkswagen at 8.1 million. With the contestants separated by more than a million units each, the top three race appeared to be decided at halftime. Now, not so much. We will revisit this topic when we have GM’s numbers for the first half of 2011. We expect these results in a day or two. All we can say now is: Volkswagen has not beaten Toyota just yet.
This revised forecast is only a part of the story. Toyota is pulling out all stops to recover quickly from the devastating effects of the March 11 tsunami. For the last months, results and especially forecasts have continuously improved.
One indicator: For the Toyota and Lexus brand alone, TMC expects a production of 7.7 million by the end of the fiscal year ending on March 31. With worldwide Toyota/Lexus brand production expected to end up 6 percent lower by the end of the calendar year, just three months later, the production volume is seen up by 5.14 percent for the full fiscal year. This serves as an indicator of how much TMC plans to crank up the volume once the last effects of the tsunami are left behind. Similar projections for Daihatsu and Hino are not available.
Even more, the usually well informed Tokyo bureau of Reuters reports today that Toyota is aiming at a big production boost in 2012. The wire service says that Toyota suppliers have been told today to prepare for 8.9 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles in 2012, not including Daihatsu and Hino. According to Reuters, this would exceed Toyota’s peak volume reached in 2007. Reuters could not receive official confirmation for this plan. Likewise, Toyota Motor Corp. spokesman Paul Nolasco would only confirm to TTAC that his employer “gave some new guidance to suppliers.”
If Toyota fulfills that plan, and if Daihatsu and Hino receive similar attention, TMC could break the 10 million barrier in 2012. GM is expected to do the same, with Volkswagen in hot pursuit.
This race will not just stay interesting throughout this year. It will get very interesting next year once the contestants are back in fighting form.