By on December 5, 2010

Toyota looks very cautiously into the future. This is the bottom line of an article that just appeared in the Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese. You just have to trust me, or rather Frau Schmitto-san, who provided the translation.) According to the piece, Toyota downrevised its projection for the 2011 fiscal year (starting April 1 2011) to 7.8 million for Toyota alone, excluding Daihatsu and Hino. With those two backed in, total worldwide production of TMC would be around 8.8 million. Meaning: Until further notice, Toyota’s world is pretty much flat.

For this fiscal year, Toyota expects to sell 7.5 million Toyotas, back of the envelope, we call that 8.5 million total for the group with Daihatsu and Hino back in. Not a bad number compared to the lows of 2009. TMC ended the calendar year of 2009 with a total of 7.2 million units. I know, that calendar/fiscal business, and the with/without Daihatsu and Hino makes the issue a bit murky. However, it looks like Toyota will report a good year for 2010 and could possibly, maybe maintain their number 1 position before GM.

The disconcerting part is that Toyota is planning for an essentially flat 2011. They are preparing for 4 percent growth for a year  for which other makers have big plans. The reasons given by the Asahi Shimbun are:

  • Home market in Japan to contract severely after the government discontinued its incentives.
  • Weak U.S. market and Toyota’s weakness in the U.S. Market
  • Sales in China and India expected to grow, but not enough to make up for the above.

The Asahi Shimbun does not cite sources for these numbers, treat with caution. And you know what they say about the best laid plans.

Nevertheless, this report will find eager readers in Wolfsburg, where they have a big target painted on Toyota. VW hasn’t made its volume planning for 2011 public, but they announced that they will  create  50,000 new jobs worldwide within the next few years. Currently, Volkswagen worldwide has some 400,000 employees, they are now planning for 450,000. Knowing Volkswagen, those people won’t sit around twiddling thumbs.

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