JAPAN: Toyota to boost April domestic output
Toyota will increase domestic output in April by around 10% from original plans as sales track higher than expected and the weaker yen helps raise the profitability of exports.
Anticipating new vehicle sales would decline after the end of the eco-car subsidies last year, the automaker had planned to reduce daily output from roughly 14,000 vehicles in the January-March period to some 12,000, the Nikkei reported.
But recent sales have been strong, with the new Crown luxury sedan released in December and the Aqua [Prius C] compact hybrid providing a boost. Exports to North America have also improved because of the yen's depreciation.
As a result, Toyota will raise daily production for April by around 1,000 vehicles to a little over 13,000, and is considering maintaining that level in May, the report said.
The company is seen logging its first nonconsolidated operating profit in five years in fiscal 2012. It will likely hire more seasonal workers to accommodate the production increase.
Toyota projected at the end of last year that domestic sales in 2013 would shrink by 17% to 1.4m units. But the revised output plans as they stand now would raise that figure by around 50,000 units. Production levels for June and beyond will be decided based on market trends.