NAGOYA (Kyodo) – Toyota Motor Corp. on Wednesday announced that its global production fell 16.2% in August from a year earlier to 531,448 units, the first drop in a year, due to parts shortages as part of the spread of the COVID-19 in Southeast Asia and a semiconductor crackle.
Toyota has already announced plans to cut production in September and October, clouding the outlook for an auto sector that has seen a strong recovery in sales in key markets including China and the United States.
The world’s best-selling automaker has cut its production outlook for fiscal 2021 through next March to 9 million units, down 300,000 from its original plan.
Global sales in August rose 3.9% to 748,893 units, marking the 12th consecutive monthly gain, Toyota said.
Southeast Asia serves as a key manufacturing hub for automakers, but plant closures in countries like Malaysia and Vietnam due to the pandemic have made it difficult to get enough parts.
This has created an additional headache for automakers who are already scrambling to deal with global semiconductor shortages. Chips are used in everything from laptops and game consoles to electronics and cars, and the pandemic has boosted demand for some of these products.
In August, Toyota reported a 19.9% drop in overseas production to 345,722 units while domestic production fell 8.4% to 185,726 units.
By region, production in China fell 30.3% from a year ago, while Asia as a whole, except Japan, registered a decline of 21.4%. Production fell 14.6% in North America.
The automaker expects global production to fall by about half in September and decline by about 40% in October from its original plans. The impact of recent production declines on sales is expected to manifest in the coming months.
In August, Toyota sold 637,324 units overseas, up 3.4%. While the spread of COVID-19 has prompted some dealerships in China to close, sales in North America, where RAV4 compact crossover SUVs are popular, have been more or less stable.
Driven by strong demand for the Yaris and Roomy compacts, sales in Japan increased 6.7% to 111,569 units. The figure in Japan includes sales of minivans with engines up to 660 cc.