By on April 15, 2020

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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7 Comments on “As Demand for Toyotas Dries Up, Automaker Prepares to Stem the Flow...”


  • avatar
    TimK

    Will they take a page from depression-era farmers and start rolling Camrys and RAV4s into trenches for burial? That might be preferable to losing money on every sale.

  • avatar
    Peter Gazis

    Steph
    Not made in North America
    50% of Corollas; Mirai; 86; Prius; Supra
    C-HR; 50% of RAV4s; 4Runner; Land Cruiser
    Lexus IS, Lexus RC; Lexus GS; Lexus LS
    Lexus LC; Lexus UX; Lexus NX; Lexus GX; Lexus LX

    Toyota lists the models it makes in North America on their sales reports. The breakdown by volume for vehicles sold in the U.S. is
    50% made in U.S.
    10% made in Canada
    10% made in Mexico
    28% made in Japan
    2% made in Turkey
    0% designed in the U.S.
    Stop trying to convince us they are a U.S. company. They are bunch of racist xenophobic pricks. And should be banned from NASCAR.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Toyota, on average, makes the most mechanically reliable cars sold in the world, and has done so for decades. I would buy them regardless if they were made in the US or Japan.

      If you really want to find some bitter, close-minded, selfish bigots, hang out with some UAW workers. Also, GM and the UAW still owe me 20 billion dollars for the taxpayer-funded UAW pension bailout. Until they pay that back, they will never get a dollar from me.

      Toyota has done a hell of a lot more for America than the UAW has ever done. Go Toyota. Screw you, UAW.

  • avatar
    silverfin

    Wouldn’t it be a silver lining if we could buy new, heavily discounted Toyota Land Cruisers so we could enjoy the cheap gas in these end times!

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    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”?

  • avatar
    zipper69

    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.

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