Toyota Slowly Sinks, Showing Reliability Can Cut Both Ways

Toyota was initially spared the microchip shortage problems thanks to clever stock management. Nevertheless, the Japanese carmaker is now facing severe production problems, which it blames on COVID outbreaks, weather, and production halts due to a recall investigation.
Toyota bZ4X 6 photos
Photo: Matt DeLorenzo
2023 Toyota bZ4X2023 Toyota bZ4X2023 Toyota bZ4X2023 Toyota bZ4X2023 Toyota bZ4X
Toyota announced that its July global production had fallen 8.6% year-on-year, to 706,547 vehicles. This is below the target of around 800,000 vehicles and the July 2021 results of 733,135. Production for the first four months of the current fiscal year, which began in April, has fallen 10.3% short of its initial plan, according to Reuters.

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.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
About the author: Cristian Agatie
Cristian Agatie profile photo

After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories