Belfast Telegraph

Troubled Toyota tells suppliers to gear up for growth

Toyota has told suppliers in Japan to prepare for ramped-up production in 2012 and following years, signalling that the troubled car maker is confident it is back on a growth track after being hit by massive recalls and the tsunami disaster.

Toyota Motor Corporation spokesman Paul Nolasco said that there was a meeting with suppliers earlier this week so they could be ready to increase production. He said the numbers were guidelines, not targets.

Citing unidentified Toyota officials, Kyodo News reported that the plan for 2012 called for production of 8.9m vehicles - a record for Toyota - with 3.5m vehicles produced in Japan and 5.4m units overseas. Mr Nolasco declined to confirm the numbers.

He said Toyota was pursuing a growth plan again, having recovered from the production disruptions caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in north-eastern Japan that destroyed key suppliers of car parts.

Toyota said yesterday it plans to make 8.04m vehicles around the world in 2011, and sell 7.9m vehicles.

The car maker had been targeting global sales of 10m vehicles for 2009 when it was hit by the financial crisis.

It also suffered a serious blow to its reputation for quality with massive global recalls and complaints about unintended acceleration, mostly in the US.

Two days before Japan was struck by the magnitude-9.0 earthquake, president Akio Toyoda, the grandson of the car maker's founder, outlined a global strategy aimed at achieving an industry first of annual sales of 10 million vehicles by 2015.