This means that the Japanese carmaker missed its target for the fourth straight month, and analysts fear Toyota might have to lower its annual production target of 9.7 million vehicles. This contrasts with the overall market trends, as China eased pandemic restrictions and the chip shortages improved.
Toyota has seen promising results during the pandemic, as other carmakers experienced production woes. Nevertheless, Toyota’s ongoing sales problems show that no carmaker, no matter how big, can go against the tide. Once considered a hallmark of reliability, Toyota has suffered setbacks in this field, the latest being the recall of its only electric vehicle after discovering that its wheels might fall off.
The recall is unimportant, especially considering the low number of Toyota bZ4X produced. Nevertheless, Toyota’s failure to solve the problem is embarrassing. More than a month after the recall was issued, Toyota still has no solution, nor has it discovered what could be the problem. In an unprecedented move, the automaker offered to repurchase the affected vehicles. In the meantime, bZ4X production was halted, and there is no timeline for when the electric crossover would again become available to order.
Although Toyota’s executives are confident the production and sales situations will improve, Toyota is in a delicate position in the long term. The Japanese carmaker has long resisted building EVs. As recent as this week, the executive vice president of sales at Toyota Motor North America predicted that electric vehicles would not see mass adoption because “consumer demand is not sufficient. “
We’re sure Nokia’s people must’ve thought the same about smartphones when Apple launched the iPhone in 2007. And for those who don’t remember, Kodak actually developed the first digital camera in 1975. The product was dropped for fear it would threaten Kodak’s main revenue line, which was the photographic film business. In 2012, Kodak filed for bankruptcy, failing to keep up with digital camera rivals.