Toyota output rises for first time in 5 months as COVID eases

Europe

Toyota’s global output rose for the first time in five months in August, led by gains in overseas markets — in particular Southeast Asia, where a COVID surge disrupted supply chains a year ago.

The automaker made 766,683 vehicles in August, up 44 percent from a year earlier, according to a statement Thursday.

Global sales rose 3.8 percent to 777,047 units, the first increase in 12 months, Toyota said.

While Toyota still faces a shortage of semiconductors and is battling lingering supply-chain constraints stemming from the pandemic, the situation has improved from 12 months ago when COVID cases were higher, causing factory shutdowns that led to a dearth of parts.

Toyota has stuck to its production target of 9.7 million vehicles for the fiscal year through March 2023.

“The industry as a whole is experiencing ups and downs,” said Koichi Sugimoto, a senior analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. “It does not mean that it’s no good at all, but it does not mean that it is on a steady rise either. The situation is still unpredictable.”

Toyota’s output in Japan in August rose 5.6 percent from a year earlier to 196,038 units, also the first increase in five months, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, rival Nissan said its global output rose for a second month in August, climbing 9 percent from a year earlier to 288,218 vehicles. However, vehicle sales fell 16 percent to 254,842 units.

Honda’s global output rose 27 percent to 347,661 units, the third consecutive month of gains.

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