The automaker will not change its plan of producing three million cars in Japan annually.
The Covid-19 pandemic has not only affected global car sales in a massive way but also seen thousands of employees in the industry lose their jobs. Just days ago, it was revealed that Aston Martin had to cut 500 jobs to recover from the damaging effects of the pandemic. So, it goes without saying that any automaker that continues to navigate this period while still in pursuit of its annual goals is doing a fine job.
Toyota, fresh from announcing exciting models like the 2021 RAV4 Prime, is one such brand. The latest word from the Japanese automotive giant is that it is bullish about remaining profitable despite the impact of the pandemic. This was the sentiment communicated by Toyota President Akio Toyoda at the company's annual meeting.
The automaker's experience in weathering the storm of the global financial crisis is helping it make the best decisions now. A statement from the meeting said: "In the current Covid-19 crisis, although we forecast a decrease in vehicle sales of 1.95 million units, for a year-on-year decrease of more than 20 percent, which would be greater than the decrease during the global financial crisis, we forecast a profit, with an operating income of 500 billion yen." That's roughly $4.7 billion. This target is a minimum standard for the brand and represents a nine-year low.
Despite the many challenges that still lie ahead - and the fact that Toyota was forced to stop production at some factories between April and June - the company is adamant that it will still be producing three million cars annually in Japan.
The intended production of three million Toyota cars is not just about getting vehicles to market, but also ensuring the protection of the company's many workers. A statement from the meeting highlights the importance of protecting the "enormous related supply chains and the jobs of the people involved."
Along with automakers like Volkswagen, Toyota has also done its best to assist struggling customers. For example, loan payment deadlines on cars have been relaxed in some cases, while used instead of new rental cars have been provided. "If we don't win, we wouldn't be able to support this industry and country," Toyoda said.
We hope that Toyota - and other automakers - continue taking the necessary steps to come out of the other side of this with the least possible impact on profitability and, of course, its people.