Production at Toyota Factories Expected to Return to Full Strength Next Month
New reports suggest that production of Toyota vehicles will return to normal several months earlier than expected -- Toyota factories will resume 100-percent production by July. Previously, the automaker had said that delays due to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami would prevent production from returning to normal levels until November.
According to Automotive News, North American Toyota dealerships should have their normal number of Toyota vehicles next month -- excluding Lexus models and the Toyota Prius, which are built in Japan and will reportedly resume full-scale production in November. However, U.S. production of the Toyota Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Matrix, Sequoia, Sienna, and Venza will reportedly reach regular capacity several months ahead of Toyota's earlier predictions. The Toyota RAV4, Tacoma, and Tundra, plus the Lexus RX350, will return to theiroriginal production schedules come September.
Toyota predicts that production and supply delays in the wake of the natural disaster will cause a 31-percent drop in its annual profits for financial-year 2012. Most factories in North America had been running at about 30 percent of normal capacity for the past few months as key vehicle components were in short supply; Toyota previously said those factories would reach 90-percent capacity by July and 100-percent capacity in November.
Toyota dealers have faced a dwindling stock of popular vehicles, like the Camry, Corolla, and Prius. AN earlier production ramp-up will help those dealers meet pent-up customer demand for fuel-efficient vehicles. According to AN, many Toyota dealers may offer large incentives to help spur vehicle sales once production and deliveries accelerate later this summer.
Source: Automotive News