Global Toyota vehicle production increases 44.3% in August for record month


TOKYO, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) said on Thursday its global vehicle production rose at a record pace for August as the sector recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic. 19 and production capacity was increasing, mainly overseas.

The announcement offers some relief for the Japanese automaker, which has come under scrutiny over whether it can meet its annual production target of 9.7 million vehicles, even as China recalls pandemic restrictions and flea shortages are showing signs of easing.

Vehicle production jumped 44.3% in August year on year, the first increase since March. The world’s biggest automaker by sales produced 766,683 vehicles worldwide last month, above its target of around 700,000 and above production of 531,448 a year ago.

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Production increased mainly overseas, with domestic production up 5.6% year-on-year and foreign production up 65.1% from a year ago, also a record rise for the August.

Toyota was able to secure more semiconductor components than expected, mainly from Asia, a region where consumer demand is also strong, as chip shortages eased, a spokesperson said.

Still, Toyota said the outlook remains uncertain due to global chip shortages and COVID-19 outbreaks.

Last week, the company said it expected to produce about 800,000 vehicles worldwide in October, about 100,000 less than its average monthly production plan, due to semiconductor shortages.

“The industry as a whole is going through ups and downs,” said Koichi Sugimoto, senior analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. “That doesn’t mean it’s not good at all, but it doesn’t mean neither is it steadily rising.The situation is still unpredictable.

Production for the first five months of the current fiscal year that began in April is now 6.7% below the company’s original plans, down from 10.3% last month, according to a Reuters calculation based on company data.

Overseas sales also hit a record high for August, driven by a rebound after a drop in sales last year due to coronavirus outbreaks in China and the rest of Asia.

Overseas sales rose 8.9% in August year-on-year to 694,272 vehicles, while in Japan they fell 25.8% to 82,775 vehicles due to a shortage of parts supply and COVID-19 outbreaks that disrupted production.

Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda is expected to attend the U.S. National Dealer Convention on Thursday in Las Vegas, marking his first in-person appearance before U.S. dealerships since the pandemic.

Toyota’s U.S. production numbers rose 11.9% in August year-on-year, the first increase since March, thanks to increased production capacity and as shortages of semiconductors and other components forced suspensions at US factories last year.

Its sales in the United States, on the other hand, fell 9.8% last month.

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Reporting by Satoshi Sugiyama; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa and Kim Coghill

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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