Toyota has increased its planned factory output over the next few months as it tries to reduce wait times across markets – including Australia where demand is at a high.
In one of its regular production bulletins, the world’s biggest carmaker said it now sought an average output of 900,000 cars per month during the September to November period.
Its previous three-monthly target, which comprised August to October, was 850,000 cars per month.
This does not mean the company plans a specific 900,000 cars each month. In fact it says it still expects to make 850,000 in September, suggesting spikes for October and November to achieve that higher mean average across the three-month window.
“This plan is based on careful confirmation of parts supply and the personnel structures and facility capacities of our suppliers,” the company said.
“However, it remains difficult to look ahead due to the spread of COVID-19 and other factors, and we will continue to make every effort possible to deliver as many vehicles to our customers at the earliest date while closely examining the situation.”
The production forecast for the fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) remains unchanged at approximately 9.7 million cars, compared to 10,063,895 cars in the last fiscal year – which would mean a drop of 3.6 per cent.
Toyota Motor Corp has in fact been slashing its production all year – having posted more than 20 production bulletins and subsequent amendments since January. A combination of COVID in its supply chain and ongoing semiconductor supply snags are the main reasons.
Toyota Australia dealers affected by ongoing chronic stock shortages are telling some customers to prepare for multi-year wait times on core models including LandCruiser, RAV4 and Camry.
Printed-out guidelines of expected customer wait times are being offered by several east coast dealers, subject to change based on the Toyota build process.
Multiple dealers are telling customers to expect waits of around 18-24 months on a newly ordered Toyota RAV4 hybrid and 12-24 months on a Toyota Camry hybrid – two cars in huge demand on account of today’s record fuel prices.
The average suggested lead times on the LandCruiser 300 Series are likewise listed as 18-24 months – we know the related Lexus LX also has year-long waits as well – while the LandCruiser 70 is listed as subject to wait times of four years, “or never” according to one dealer.
This lattermost figure might be hyperbole, and was contested by TMC, though it has since paused orders on the vehicle in question.
For its part, Toyota Australia acknowledges the long waits but says there’s not really a one-size-fits-all timeframe, because each dealership has different pipelines.
“Demand for new vehicles is at unprecedented levels. In Australia, to support the strong demand, Toyota Australia been working closely with our global production teams to secure as many vehicles for our market as possible,” it said recently.
“Wait times vary depending on the model, variant and specification requirements of each customer. The RAV4 Hybrid, Camry Hybrid, LandCruiser 70 and LandCruiser 300 are in particularly high demand and currently have longer wait times.
“Due to the evolving nature of this situation, Toyota dealers are best placed to continue to provide updates to customers on delivery timeframes for individual orders.”
Toyota Australia has also removed the customer web order tracking feature from its website, instead telling customers to contact their “selling dealer” for arrival updates.
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