Things are finally getting back on track.
While most automakers have been struggling with supply issues during the global semiconductor chip shortage, Toyota had an advantage over its competitors. Following 2011's devastating tsunami, Toyota began stockpiling semiconductors to prevent supply issues from happening again. Eventually, however, Toyota's luck ran out.
With supplies running low, Toyota was forced to cut global production by 40 percent in September, affecting models such as the Toyota Prius and 4Runner. Toyota's production plants in Japan were idled with an estimated loss of 140,000 new vehicles in September alone. Production was also severely impacted in North America. Thankfully, production at Toyota is finally getting back on track.
Toyota has announced that all 14 plants and 28 production lines in Japan will be operating normally in December for the first time in seven months since May. Toyota's global production is expected to reach 800,000 units, up from 760,000 units in December 2020 when Toyota was recovering from cutbacks made due to the pandemic.
However, Toyota warns there is still a "continuing shortage of some parts" but the automaker is continuing to strengthen its supply chain and says it will do everything it can to "deliver as many cars to our customers as quickly as possible."
As a result of the supply issues and COVID-19 infections, Toyota has reduced its production target for the current financial year until the end of March by 300,000 vehicles. To make up for these losses, Toyota recently confirmed to Reuters plans to build an additional 97,000 vehicles from December until March, with weekend shifts being considered to make up for production losses.
However, Toyota hasn't announced any specific production plans for its US plants in Indiana, Kentucky, and Texas. With production ramping up, it hopefully won't be too long until dealer inventories start returning to normal, which would give Toyota an edge over its struggling competitors.