Toyota's Comeback Plans: Party Like It's 2007

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
toyota s comeback plans party like it s 2007

A week ago, we predicted that „Toyota will start the year with guns blazing and the lines rolling.” Toyota agrees, and delivers the numbers to back-up the claim. According to data released today, Toyota and Lexus alone intends to grow global production in the coming year by 24 percent to 8.65 million units. This number does not include Daihatsu and Hino. This is an ambitious plan, slightly exceeding the peak level of 2007.

Toyota/Lexus Projections 2012 (Ex Daihatsu, Hino)

Calendar 2012TMCDiffWorldwide sales8,480,00020%Japanese sales1,530,00028%Overseas sales6,950,00019%Worldwide production8,650,00024%Japanese production3,400,00023%Overseas production5,250,00025%

Licking its wounds from an unprecedented series of catastrophes, that would have spelled certain death for less resilient companies, TMC (all brands) will end the year with production down 7 percent to 7.9 million units, internal forecasts say.

TMC Sales And Production 2011 (All brands and divisions)

Calendar 2011

ToyotaDiffDaihatsuDiffHinoDiffTotalDiffWorldwide sales7,050,000-6%730,000-7%120,00016%7,900,000-6%Japanese sales1,190,000-24%550,000-9%30,00019%1,780,000-19%Overseas sales5,860,000-2%180,0000%90,00014%6,130,000-1%Worldwide production6,970,000-9%810,000-2%130,00016%7,910,000-7%Japanese production2,770,000-16%610,000-8%110,00015%3,490,000-14%Overseas production4,200,000-3%200,00025%10,00028%4,410,000-2%

(Company estimates)

Originally, the big climb out of the rubble caused by the March 11 tsunami had been planned for the last quarter of 2011. Toyota wanted to hit the ground running as the year changes. The Thai flood poured water over that plan.

With 7.9 million made in 2011, Toyota will certainly land on place three of the worldwide ranking, behind Volkswagen, which TTAC estimates at 8.2 million, and with GM solidly in the number one position with production above 9 million.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, or a sale of Opel, GM should be more than capable to defend the #1 spot in 2012. The race for the #2 slot will be interesting. Volkswagen should end the year 2011 at around 8.2 million units. If Wolfsburg maintains its breakneck growth rate in 2012, production could be lifted above 9 million, giving GM cause to check the mirror. Where it will see Toyota and Volkswagen in a neck-on-neck race.

If we assume that Daihatsu and Hino will have the same growth as Toyota in 2012, the total would be 9.8 million units. That of course could be a bit optimistic. But even assuming flat Daihatsu and Hino production in 2012, the grand total would be 9.6 million. In 2013, TMC plans for 8.98 million Toyota and Lexus cars produced globally. With Daihatsu and Hino added in, the company could pierce the 10 million mark by then.

It all depends on how well Toyota executes its plans.

Asked how Toyota wants to execute that daring plan, Toyota spokesman Dion Corbett says:

“In the peak year 2007, only 34 percent of our sales were in emerging markets. We are expecting a lot of growth there. Within the next years, we see ourselves shifting towards a 50:50 distribution between emerging and established markets. We are not planning on less sales in established markets, but definitely on a lot more sales in emerging markets.”

Readers of Matt Gasnier’s Bestselling Cars Aroud The Globe series know that Toyotas are regularly listed in the Top 10 of countries all around the world.

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3 of 7 comments
  • Steven02 Steven02 on Dec 22, 2011

    I completely expect Toyota to increase this year, but 24%? Really? Hopefully Toyota isn't trying to be the old GM and chasing the goal to be the biggest automaker at all costs.

    • Pch101 Pch101 on Dec 22, 2011
      Hopefully Toyota isn’t trying to be the old GM My guess is that TMC is trying to be the new Volkswagen (although hopefully without the QC problems.)

  • Carbiz Carbiz on Dec 22, 2011

    Although Toyota might get a bump in 2012 as vehicles destroyed in the earthquake are replaced, what are they going to do about long term demographics that in Japan that indicate their youth are not interested in vehicle purchases? The homeland is their strongest and only guaranteed market. Toyota is where GM was 20 years ago: they dominate the home market, but whereas GM lost out to foreign competition, Toyota will lose out to domestic disinterest. Of the 5 top markets, North America, China, Eurozone, Japan and Brazil, Toyota is only strong in 2 of them. Of those two, Japan is, at best, stagnant. The U.S. may be heading for a big surge (pent up demand) or crash (hello, 2008!) depending on what crystal ball one uses. In either case, Toyota is in free-fall in North America. (This started before the earthquake, especially in Canada where Korea is taking over.) I think GM will hold onto its #1 crown for a long time, but if it loses it, it will be to VW, not Toyota. Only VW is stronger than GM is 4 of the 5 markets, although in a couple they are close. If VW gets its act together in America (unlikely) they might overtake GM. There are 3 wild cards: 1)an Opel cash sale, as the writer points out, 2) a home-grown Chinese invasion of the home market that wipes out GM and VW sales there, 3)a Chinese explosion in Brazil, already underway. Both GM and VW are strong in Brazil. Brazil will likely become the #3 market in 2012. Toyota has virtually no presence there, so an upset of VW or GM there could knock one or both of them down a peg. (2010 Brazilian sales: VW 697k, GM 657k, Toyota 100k.) The only thing for certain is 2012 will be as interesting as 2009.

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