Toyota's sales numbers are defying all expectations.
The global pandemic has had a considerable impact on the auto industry. Global car sales are inevitably down, and many automakers such as Aston Martin, Bentley and McLaren have been forced to lay off thousands of workers. Despite these challenging times, Toyota is confident the company will still make a profit, which is no small feat.
Last month during Toyota's annual meeting, Toyota President Akio Toyota forecasted the Japanese manufacturer's car sales could be down by 20 percent, but is still hopeful of returning an operating profit of 500 billion yen ($4.7 billion). Toyota might just achieve this judging from the company's latest sales figures. Remarkably, Toyota's global sales in June have already recovered 84 percent of the previous year's level since production restarted in May.
China's sales were also up year-on-year for three consecutive months. While Europe's sales were down by 11.5 percent compared to June 2019, sales have been steadily increasing since May.
In Japan, sales have recovered by 77.3 percent since June, coinciding with the state of emergency declaration recently being canceled in the country. It's a remarkable recovery considering that Toyota's sales were down by 31 percent between April and June this year. Toyota says this has exceeded the company's initial recovery expectations in May. In June, global production recovered to 76 percent of the previous year's level after being down by 50.8 percent in April and 54.4 percent in May, thanks primarily to a 21.6 percent production increase in China last month.
In North America, production was still down by 8.4 percent in June, but this is a huge improvement from May when production was down by 78.5 percent and shut down completely in April. European production was down by 3.9 percent in June, compared to 59.9 percent in May and 99.2 percent in April.
Unsurprisingly, the Toyota RAV4 was the brand's best-selling model in the first half of the year with 426,000 units sold, which is a record high. Lexus also achieved record-high sales in June with approximately 64,000 global sales. 34 percent of Lexus' total sales were in China, where approximately 22,000 units were sold last month.