Toyota Motor on Friday said global production climbed 30 percent in the quarter ended in September, but warned the shortages of semiconductors and other parts that have roiled the auto industry would still constrain output in coming months.
Toyota produced 887,733 vehicles globally in September, a record for a single month and a jump of 73 percent from the same month a year earlier. A spokesperson cautioned Toyota did not see the gains in September output as sustainable and told reporters, “We would avoid calling this a recovery.”
In the July to September quarter, global sales were up 4 percent, according to a Reuters calculation based on the company’s disclosures.
For the first half of the business year starting in April, Toyota produced 4,481,600 vehicles worldwide. That was up 10 percent on the year, but still 5 percent short of the automaker’s initial plans.
The announcement came a week after Toyota said it was unlikely to meet its 9.7 million vehicle production goal for this financial year due to a scarcity of chips.
It did not provide a new forecast. “Although Toyota recently said there was a strong possibility of a downward revision to the 9.7 million goal, the level of production itself has been rising when compared to the previous year,” said Seiji Sugiura, a senior analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute.
“So while the number of vehicles isn’t what Toyota has hoped for, I believe it is moving toward a recovery in production,” Sugiura said. “For now, we should see sales coming back with production.”
Reuters reported on Thursday Toyota had told several suppliers it was setting a global target for the current business year to 9.5 million vehicles and signalled that forecast could be lowered, depending on the supply of steel.
For Toyota to hit that revised target, production in the second half would have to be about 12 percent higher than the previous six months, based on reported results.
The spokesperson declined to comment on a new production target.
Shortages of semiconductors have hit Toyota’s production in Japan harder than its overseas factories, Toyota said. For the quarter through September, Toyota’s domestic production was up just 10 percent.
Toyota is scheduled to report quarterly earnings results on Tuesday.