Troubled Toyota prepares for growth
Toyota has told its 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 8.9 million vehicles - a record for Toyota - with 3.5 million vehicles produced in Japan and 5.4 million 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 8.04 million vehicles around the world in 2011, and sell 7.9 million vehicles.
The car maker had been targeting global sales of 10 million vehicles for 2009 when it was hit by the world 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.
Toyota and other Japanese car makers have bounced back from the Japan disasters quicker than expected, and say their production is almost back to normal.
Although their profits and sales have been battered so far, they hope to make up for it in the second half of the fiscal year through March 2012 and expect relatively healthy annual profits.