Toyota Upbeat After Unexpectedly Fast Recovery

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In July, Toyota's global sales and production nearly matched last year's numbers.

A month ago, Toyota reported that despite one of the most challenging years on record, its June sales proved that the automaker was on an upward trajectory and well on its way to recovering from the shutdown caused by the pandemic. In July 2020, that trend continued, as the brand's global sales and production recovered to 90 percent of the levels seen a year ago at the same time.

Although Toyota's global sales were down 12 percent relative to July 2019, this is still a recovery rate that is faster than expected, with earlier projections for July to September 2020 expected to return a drop in sales of 15 percent.

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Toyota says that its recovery is mostly thanks to its performance in China (up by 19.1%), Europe (+14.5%), the US (down by 19%), and Japan (-17%). Whereas June's global production decreased by 24%, July's production was down by 10.2% year on year, another indication of the brand's positive recovery rate.

In July 2020, US production actually improved on July 2019's output by 19%. In North America, Toyota also highlighted especially strong sales of light trucks, the Highlander Hybrid, and the Camry sedan. The new Toyota Venza isn't even here yet, but it has already proved to be a hit in Japan.

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Overall, Toyota sold 747,300 vehicles worldwide in July and production reached 691,091 units. Of those sales, 619,448 of them came from outside the Japanese market. That fits with the news earlier this month that Toyota was struggling to meet demand, with a lower national days' supply of new vehicles than any other automaker in the US.

That's hardly the worst problem in the world to have, and Toyota must be encouraged that it could emerge from 2020 on a high. Earlier this year, the automaker said it expects to remain profitable and will stick to its goal of producing three million cars in Japan annually.

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