In potential good news for those on wait lists, Toyota just posted its first worldwide production increase in five months – and in so doing set a claimed new August production record.
Worldwide August production spiked 44 per cent over the August 2021 figure, which was decimated by COVID and semiconductor shortages in the supply chain.
The world’s biggest car-maker made 766,683 cars in August, with most of the growth coming from production outside of Japan (570,645 units made, up 65 per cent).
Japanese factory output was up too, by 5.6 per cent to 196,038 units for the month.
“Despite the continued impact of semiconductor shortages and the spread of COVID-19, production reached a record high for August both globally and overseas as a result of the efforts of our suppliers, primarily in regions with high demand,” TMC said in a statement.
This increased output might be music to the ears of Toyota Australia, which currently has all-time record demand, and customers waiting more than 12 months on some of its top-selling cars such as the RAV4 hybrid.
Showing it’s a demand issue as much as a supply one, Toyota sales are actually up this year by 3.2 per cent to 161,558 units YTD.
COVID and semiconductor shortages in its factories and wider supply chain have smashed Toyota lately. It has posted more than 20 production bulletins and subsequent amendments this year as it’s scrambled to navigate difficult waters.
The production spike may be short-lived, however.
The company said last week it would have to trim back planned output over the current three-month window by at least 150,000 cars. This specific figure includes Hino and Daihatsu.
TMC also said it would be suspending production at 10 lines across seven plants in Japan during October, affecting models such as the RAV4, Camry, Prado, and GR Yaris. Also hit are the Lexus NX, LS, ES, RX and UX.
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.
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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