Along with record quarterly profit numbers, Toyota handed out a revised production and sales plan at yesterday’s earning conference in Tokyo. The plan calls for 10.42 million units produced in calendar 2014. If Toyota executes the plan (cautious as they are, Toyota usually underpromises and overdelivers) the title World’s Largest Automaker 2014 should be as good as assured. Let’s have a look at Toyota’s schedule.
Before we do this, let us once again praise Toyota for a level of transparency that sadly is not shared by its global peers. GM is an especially egregious sinner in this regard. Global data are only reported quarterly. Production data are withheld completely. Forward-looking sales and production plans are treated as a state secret at most automakers, Toyota hands them out routinely.
|Toyota Group 2014 sales and production plan|
|Plan||Change YoY||Plan||Change YoY||Plan||Change YoY||Plan||Change YoY|
Looking at Toyota’s revised plan, we see many factors we already mentioned a week ago.
- Sales in Japan have not collapsed as predicted. Toyota plans for a decrease of only 1 percent.
- Mini vehicle sales in Japan are doing better than registered vehicles. Toyota plans to maintain Daihatsu at previous year levels.
- Toyota budgets for small sales increases in the EU, and large ones in the U.S., where the company wants to sell 2.3 million units this year. Overseas sales gains are offset by weaknesses in emerging markets and Russia. Toyota budgets a 4% rise of overseas sales.
- Japanese production is scheduled to decrease slightly, while overseas production is seen increasing, leading to a 4 percent year-on-year rise of production to 10.42 million units, 70,000 units more than our admittedly crude straight line extrapolation of last week.
According to reports, some analysts think Volkswagen will replace Toyota in the top spot by the end of this year. I strongly doubt that. To reach Toyota, Volkswagen Group, including MAN and Scania, would have to produce 250,000 units more in the second half of the year than what they made in the first half – a tall order at this juncture.
Note: The is a peculiar 220,000 unit difference between Daihatsu’s planned sales and planned production, which translates into a similar sized gap at the group level. I have asked Toyota to comment. You will have the answer when I have it.