Toyota Plots Record Production Push to Counter How Crappy 2020 Has Been

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
toyota plots record production push to counter how crappy 2020 has been

Toyota is reportedly seeking to supercharge vehicle production to record levels in the latter half of 2020 as a way to help offset how lousy the rest of the year has been. Its previous six-month record was achieved in 2015 and resulted in 4.53 million sparkling new automobiles. But Toyota would like to eclipse that this year and is targeting 4.6 new vehicles between July and December, with the biggest assembly push coming in the final quarter.

Toyota has already informed its suppliers of the plan, according to The Japan Times, and has been building its momentum. The manufacturer assembled nearly 842,000 cars in September, increasing year-over-year volumes by 11.7 percent and setting a monthly production record for itself. Though it likely wasn’t sufficient to recoup sales lost earlier in the year as lockdown protocols crippled the global market and disrupted supply chains.

Will that change by January? Definitely not.

The firm only managed to build 3.31 million vehicles worldwide in the first half of this year — resulting in 28.6 percent fewer cars than the same period in 2019. Toyota is aiming to narrow that gap to about 17 percent for the entire year (vs 2019) by building 7.9 million vehicles in total. A full recovery clearly isn’t happening for the Japanese manufacturer but that doesn’t place it in a situation that’s dissimilar for any other major automotive conglomerate. Everyone lost this year and simply getting back into fighting shape before year’s end is still an achievement.

[Image: Toyota Motor Corp.]

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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Nov 03, 2020

    My local Toyota dealer's lot has suddenly been filling up, but I don't know if that equates to 2019-level sales. US unemployment is still 7.9%. But as we've noted before, new car prices are increasingly favoring higher income people, and of course typically only employed or retired people buy new cars.

  • CKNSLS Sierra SLT CKNSLS Sierra SLT on Nov 03, 2020

    The large volume Toyota dealer where I live didn't have any trucks, and just a few CUVs. Lot was pretty empty. It's starting to look a little better.

    • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Nov 04, 2020

      I haven't been past by local dealer, which has two enormous lots, in awhile. However, dealer row seems to rent less space from the local maul for their overflow post COVID.

  • TomLU86 TomLU86 on Nov 04, 2020

    Sorry, I'm not buying this story. Today, automakers in general, (except Chrysler, DaimlerChrysler, and now FCA), and Toyota in particular, do not build cars because they can, or because they "hope" to sell them. They build what they think will sell. If we give the Japan Times, the benefit of the doubt, maybe in Japan there is pent-up demand, since they appear to (publicly) have COVID under control. I doubt it. The USA is Toyota's most important market. Car sales are not going to bounce back. Trucks are hot, yes. But guess what---even mighty Toyota cannot just "turn the knob to HIGHER" and crank out more trucks. No one can. Smart carmakers have learned NOT to make vehicles they must jam down dealers' throats that may not sell. Toyota is the smartest. I'm hitting the "BS BUTTON" on this one, Matt Posky and TTAC.

    • Stuki Stuki on Nov 04, 2020

      It's not unlikely a "China" thing. The Chinese, having, at least domestically, credibly "solved" the Covid problem, are starting to buy cars again. It's a growing (and huuuuge) market where Toyota does not yet have the presence and recognition they have elsewhere. So they can't afford to be caught on their back foot, while local upstarts establish relationships and gain recognition.

  • Superdessucke Superdessucke on Nov 04, 2020

    I'm not trying to be smart or political here but can the new president issue an executive order shutting down the country? Toyota might want to wait and see how this all shakes out before ramping up production like that.