By on February 25, 2011

Toyota Motor Corporation released global production, domestic sales and export results for January. Two words: Not good. While Toyota’s global peers can boast of surprising numbers for January, TMC’s worldwide production dropped by 3.9 percent across Toyota, Daihatsu and Hino. The Toyota brand has even less to show: Minus 4.7 percent. And this while the competition is busy dethroning the leader of the pack.

Volkswagen, who has declared Toyota their enemy #1, delivered 644,200 units globally in January, up 19.6 percent. This is getting awfully close to the 688,580 units Toyota produced in January. Hyundai and Kia together delivered 489,209 units worldwide in January, with Hyundai up 14.2 percent and Kia up 19.3 percent.

General Motors does not report monthly global numbers (they should), but news from their largest markets China and U.S.A. were exceptional. GM finished 2010 only 167,582 units behind top ranking Toyota. It is a good guess that GM out-produced and out-sold Toyota globally in January.


Unit = one vehicle; figures in ( ) show year-on-year percentage change
Toyota Daihatsu Hino Total
Passenger cars 210,619 (-14.8) 39,725 (-11.9) 250,344 (-14.4)
Trucks & buses 23,426 (8.5) 8,715 (1.7) 8,355 (26.9) 40,496 (10.2)
Total 234,045 (-13.0) 48,440 (-9.7) 8,355 (26.9) 290,840 (-11.6)
Passenger cars 78,649 (-30.7) 34,118 (-6.6) 112,767 (-24.8)
Trucks & buses 8,750 (16.1) 8,197 (-4.6) 2,032 (6.4) 18,979 (5.2)
Total 87,399 (-27.8) 42,315 (-6.2) 2,032 (6.4) 131,746 (-21.6)
Passenger cars 113,585 (-4.5) 1,996 (-31.2) 115,581 (-5.1)
Trucks & buses 12,558 (4.3) (-100.0) 5,096 (16.6) 17,654 (3.7)
Total 126,143 (-3.7) 1,996 (-43.2) 5,096 (16.6) 133,235 (-4.0)
379,786 (1.3) 17,026 (47.4) 928 (7.8) 397,740 (2.7)
613,831 (-4.7) 65,466 (0.4) 9,283 (24.7) 688,580 (-3.9)
*1Includes kits for overseas assembly; *2includes overseas production; *3excludes kits from Japan

What is Toyota’s problem? It’s not the one that pops into mind. Toyota’s problem is that they are in the wrong markets. Toyota, Daihatsu and Hino hold a domineering 43.1 percent share of the Japanese domestic market. Japanese domestic new car sales (excluding minivehicles) were down 21.5 percent in January, dragging down Toyota’s sales. On top of this, TMC lost 2.7 percent of this shrinking market. In the U.S., Toyota kept pace with the market, while GM and Hyundai gained market share. In the emerging markets, which drive the growth of Toyota’s peers, the Japanese juggernaut has problems keeping up, a fact that had been castigated by The Nikkei a few days ago.

Perversely, Toyota’s possible salvation is in the streets of North Africa and the Middle East. The riots there drove prices at the pump well above $3. Analysts talk about $5 gas. GM’s and Ford’s good numbers were delivered by trucks and SUVs. The stock market is already betting that this party may be over. Toyota always does well when gas prices go up. But so do Volkswagen and Hyundai.

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6 Comments on “Toyota’s January Numbers: Down, Down...”

  • avatar

    The very profitable Lexus division is almost Detroit grade in their sales mix. Only 38% of Lexus sales are autos, the other 62% are SUVs; based on data from the last couple of months.

    I mean I thought Toyota’s problems was the evil US government plan to destroy them.  An evil plan that has spanned across two Presidential administrations, and in alignment with the global automotive press.  Yes, excellent, the plan is going exceeding well.


    • 0 avatar

      Lexus big seller in the US is the RX.  Last I checked, the RX was 50% of Lexus sales.  The next in line is the ES, which makes up a good portion of the rest.  The Lexus specific models, IS, GS, and LS are relatively small percentage.  Easy to see why Lexus is SUV heavy.

  • avatar

    Autospies couldn’t wait to steal yet another article from you I C.
    That troll 009 jumped all over this since is shows a negative for Toyota.  Next, 009 will be posting those horrific pics of the family killed in the Lexus where the dealership installed the incorrect floormats and making some vile and inappropriate correlation.
    So Toyota is sitting on a wave of new products that are the big sellers.  Camry, lots of new Lexus models.  I predict a quiet introduction of these new models followed by a big jump in sales.

  • avatar

    Maybe this will translate into some deep discounting…

    • 0 avatar

      If you haven’t noticed, Toyota has already been doing that.

      Both higher manufacturer incentives and bigger dealer discounting.

      That, along w/ increased fleet sales, is what allowed Toyota to basically maintain marketshare last year.

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