Watch Out, Wolfsburg: Toyota Expects To Exceed 8 Million In 2011, Has Big Plans For Next Year

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

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

ToyotaChangeDaihatsuChangeHinoChangeTotalChangeJapanese sales1,180,000-25%520,000-14%30,000-22%1,740,000-21%Overseas sales5,920,000-1%180,000-5%90,000-12%6,190,0000%Worldwide sales7,100,000-6%710,000-10%120,000-15%7,930,000-6%Japanese production2,790,000-15%590,000-11%110,000-14%3,490,000-14%Overseas production4,360,0000%170,0009%20,000-44%4,550,0001%Worldwide production7,150,000-6%760,000-7%130,000-17%8,040,000-6%

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.

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  • Mike978 Mike978 on Aug 03, 2011

    Thanks Bertel. That seems a large increase for GM as well.

  • Alluster Alluster on Aug 03, 2011

    I wonder how Toyota projects to sell 7.9 Million by years end from 3.01M sold in the first half. 4.9 Million in the next 6 months is a tall order considering the Japanese market is still in a trough and vehicle inventories in NA are not expected to be back to normal levels until 2012. Even GM can't do 5M in 6 months. I am sure the projections are backed by good reasoning, so I am only curious and not doubting their legitimacy. Toyota faces strong headwinds in the next few years unless they address the short comings. Nissan is grabbing market share in their home market and growing faster in China and NA. China sales are expected to be flat and level off around 900K units. GM and VW are growing faster in BRIC countries while holding their own in mature markets. A rising Hyundai/Kia are a threat to Toyota and to a lesser extend, Honda than anyone else. The Dollar/Yen ratio is expected to remain in the 80's. An aging customer base, market share in the midsize and compact segment down to 14% from a 20% three years ago, permanently stuck in the third spot in US sales behind ford, flagging Lexus sales to name a few.

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