Toyota’s January Output Climbs While Honda, Nissan Report Drops

A Toyota Provox, front, and other vehicles on the production line
A Toyota Provox, front, and other vehicles on the production line at the Daihatsu Motor Kyoto plant. (Akio Kon/Bloomberg News)

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Toyota Motor Corp. reported a slight drop in global sales in January due to lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and a chronic shortage of semiconductors for automobiles, the Japanese automaker said.

Sales, including Daihatsu Motor Co. and Hino Motors Ltd., fell 3.6% from a year earlier to 795,847 vehicles, while production rose 8.4% to 819,727 units, the world’s No. 1 automaker said Feb. 27. The shortages were worse a year ago, resulting in an output increase in January, Toyota added.

The numbers come about a month before Lexus chief Koji Sato is set to take over as Toyota’s CEO in April, as production recovers from pandemic lockdowns, supply chain issues and a stubborn component shortage. Earlier in February, the company announced its biggest wage hikes in two decades, meeting union demands quickly and in full for the third year in a row.

Domestic sales and production rose year-on-year for the third month in a row, with Japan sales climbing 18% to 186,998 units, Toyota said.

Toyota’s third-quarter profits surpassed estimates but the carmaker kept its conservative outlook for the fiscal year ending March in line with its previous forecast for operating profit of 2.4 trillion yuan ($17.6 billion).

Honda Motor Co.’s global production fell 22% to 280,757 vehicles, declining for the third straight month, the company said. Output expanded in North America but fell sharply in Asia, especially in China where production was less than half that of the prior year.

Nissan Motor Co.’s global output shrank 25% to 224,236 cars in January, the carmaker said. Global sales declined 26% to 228,557 units.

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