As Demand for Toyotas Dries Up, Automaker Prepares to Stem the Flow

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
as demand for toyotas dries up automaker prepares to stem the flow

Obviously, Toyota plants in the United States, Canada, and Mexico are shut down due to the coronavirus (tentatively slated to reopen on May 4th), but the automaker’s Japanese plants are still going strong.

Come the month of May, those facilities won’t have to work quite as hard. Who’s buying, really?

Japan managed to hold the pandemic at bay for some time, though last week saw the nation’s leadership declared a national emergency. The daily death toll hit a new high on Tuesday. And while Japan hasn’t seen the kind of wide-scale lockdowns enacted in China, Europe, and North America, that doesn’t mean people aren’t altering their habits.

As COVID-19 cases grew in March, the country recorded a 9.2-percent drop in new vehicle sales, with April — and now May — looking grim for Japan’s vehicle output, to say nothing of domestic sales.

As reported by Reuters, Toyota will stem the flow of vehicles at its domestic assembly plants by 40 percent in May, targeting a figure of 79,000 vehicles for the month.

“Due to the effects of COVID-19 on the current market and the decline in demand of new vehicles globally, Toyota intends to make gradual adjustments in production operations at all plants for completed vehicles in Japan, starting from May 1,” the automaker said in a statement, adding that plants will either see operating days cut or double shifts pared down to single ones.

Six Japanese plants will go the former route, three the latter.

Vehicle sales in the U.S. have taken a huge hit due to the pandemic, though most of the Toyota vehicles sold in North America hail from that same region. Only a handful of models — the 86, Prius, Land Cruiser, and 4Runner — call a Japanese factory home.

[Image: Toyota]

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  • Schmitt trigger Schmitt trigger on Apr 16, 2020

    With 70% of their volume being manufactured in North America and 50% on the good ol' USA, what is your reasoning for calling them "racist xenophobic pricks"?

  • Zipper69 Zipper69 on Apr 23, 2020

    How naive of me to think of the classic retailers response to falling sales - PRICE REDUCTIONS. I see they are pushing "favorable" financing but instead of the dumb "cashback" boondoggle, cut some figures of the end price.

  • Sayahh Is it 1974 or 1794? The article is inconsistent.
  • Laura I just buy a Hyndai Elantra SEL, and My car started to have issues with the AC dont work the air sometimes is really hot and later cold and also I heard a noice in the engine so I went to the dealer for the first service and explain what was hapenning to the AC they told me that the car was getting hot because the vent is not working I didnt know that the car was getting hot because it doesnt show nothing no sign no beep nothing I was surprise and also I notice that it needed engine oil, I think that something is wrong with this car because is a model 23 and I just got it on April only 5 months use. is this normal ? Also my daughter bought the same model and she went for a trip and the car also got hot and it didnt show up in the system she called them and they said to take the car to the dealer for a check up I think that if the cars are new they shouldnt be having this problems.
  • JamesGarfield What charging network does the Polestar use?
  • JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
  • Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.