Toyota lowers year-round chip shortage production target

TOKYO — Toyota is finally slashing its fiscal year production forecast after clinging to it for months and admitting that it has had to adjust its November plan amid the semiconductor crisis.

By abandoning its target, the automaker said it “expects” to cut its global production schedule for the fiscal year ending March 31, although it offered no new target.

Toyota has stuck to its goal of producing 9.7 million cars in the current fiscal year, even as it repeatedly cut monthly plans amid global supply chain turmoil.

A spokesman said Toyota is evaluating a new target. The company is expected to report its fiscal second quarter results early next month, at which point new guidance could be forthcoming.

As recently as September, Toyota had said it wanted to produce 900,000 cars a month from September to November as it tried to recoup lost volume from earlier in the year. But later it reduced September production to 850,000 and October production to 800,000.

In an Oct. 21 statement, the automaker said the November total would also be reduced to 800,000, representing 250,000 units in Japan and 550,000 overseas.

Suspensions in Japan will affect 11 lines in eight plants, out of 28 lines in 14 plants.

Affected nameplates include the Corolla, Corolla Cross, RAV4, Camry, Crown, Land Cruiser Prado and 4Runner, as well as the Lexus LS, IS RC, NX, UX, ES and GX.

“As a result of this plan, the full-year production forecast for FY2023 is expected to be lower than the previous forecast of 9.7 million units,” said Toyota.

Despite ongoing production problems, Toyota’s now-abandoned target of 9.7 million vehicles for the full fiscal year would have hit a record if actually met.

The target counts the output for the Toyota and Lexus brands only; it does not cover consolidated figures for the Daihatsu minicar or Hino truck manufacturers.

The target was a significant leap from Toyota’s current production record of 9.08 million vehicles, the volume pumped out in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017.

Production rose 4.7 percent to 8.57 million vehicles in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022.

Toyota started the current fiscal year cautiously by aiming higher in hopes that the global pandemic and global supply chain problems would ease and fuel an uptick.

Instead, it was quick to say it would take the foot off gas due to tight supply chains.

Still, Toyota has tried to jump-start production and move forward last year. In the first eight months of 2022, Toyota’s global consolidated production, including its subsidiaries of Daihatsu minicars and Hino trucks, was down just 0.1 percent from the previous year to 6.82 million vehicles.

Production of just Toyota and Lexus cars rose 0.2 percent to 5.83 million, meaning the company fell short of its target of 9.7 million.

In August, the latest month for which figures are available, Toyota’s global consolidated production rose 40 percent to 885,812 vehicles, with a 61 percent increase in overseas production. The actual result beat Toyota’s downwardly revised guidelines, but still failed to meet the original target.

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