Supply shortages could, once again, derail this goal.
Toyota announced its goal of producing 10.6 million vehicles in 2023 but warned that parts shortages, specifically semiconductor chips, could alter its plans. For the fiscal year ending in March 2023, the Japanese automaker, currently the world's second-largest behind the Volkswagen Group, is on course to build at least 9.2 million vehicles, down from the 9.7 million-unit prediction it previously made.
During the previous fiscal year, Toyota churned out 8.6 million units, a lower number due to the pandemic. For the upcoming 12 months, the carmaker said it "set a baseline production volume with a downward risk fluctuation range of approximately 10%." So the 10.6 million-unit goal can still change somewhat based on supply-related issues.
Toyota further clarified that the situation remains difficult to predict as chip suppliers continue to face production hurdles to meet global demand.
This month, Toyota aims to produce 700,000 vehicles, 200,000 of which will be manufactured in Japan, while the remaining 500,000 will roll off assembly lines in other countries, including the US.
Last month, Toyota temporarily suspended production of popular models like the RAV4, 4Runner, Lexus GX, and a few other Lexus vehicles. The company released 2023's production goal in part to make it easier for suppliers to plan ahead with Toyota management.
Like all automakers, Toyota has struggled with the supply chain. However, it has done better than most, partly due to having a significant reserve supply of semiconductor chips on hand at the pandemic's onset back in 2020. Eventually, that stockpile ran out, and Toyota found itself in the same boat as its competitors.
For the past few months, the carmaker kept changing its production output for this year nearly every month, but it did so based on the situation on the ground and for complete transparency, which pleased stockholders. However, one key area where Toyota has caused some controversy is all-electric vehicles.
CEO Akio Toyoda has repeatedly gone on record stating his opposition to an outright reliance on pure battery-electric powertrains. For example, many countries' electrical grids are currently incapable of handling the massive influx of energy required to keep those vehicles powered.
Toyota has also been criticized for not joining the EV bandwagon fast enough. It currently only sells one EV, the bZ4X, though many more are coming soon.