Toyota will manufacture 150,000 fewer cars in February, the company announced Tuesday, with the latest cut in numbers resulting in the automaker falling short of the total 9 million vehicles initially predicted for the year.
A worldwide shortage of semiconductor chips has led to a series of cuts in production volumes over past months that lowered the total number for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022.
“Our global production plan in February 2022 is expected to be around 700,000 units. Current demand is very strong, therefore we were aiming for a high February production plan,” said Toyota in a news release. “However, due to the impact of the continuing demand for semiconductors across all industries, we have adjusted our production plan by around 150,000 units globally.”
Demand remains high for new and used vehicles in the United States. With fewer cars being manufactured, the price for a new vehicle has increased more than 14 percent on average over the last year. Dealerships have been forced to forgo discounts and even sell above the manufacturer’s suggested retail price due to limited supply.
Toyota said they were working with suppliers to ensure delivery of vehicles to customers.
“With regards to the shortage of semiconductor-related parts, we will continue to examine the situation and consult with all companies involved in considering the use of substitutes where possible in anticipation of a continuing shortage,” the company said.
As manufacturing units in Southeast Asia shut down during pandemic, the company faced a shortage of components earlier in the year. Toyota was planning on increasing production volumes up to 900,000 in February to make up for the lower numbers.
Although the annual output is greater than the 8.18 million vehicles last year, Toyota had initially planned for 9.13 million which was trimmed to 9 million in September, and has now again been downgraded.
The 700,000 volume for February is up from 660,000 last year but down 2.7 percent from pre-pandemic 2019. The carmaker made 620,000 units in February 2020 and 720,000 in 2019.
Multiple countries in Southeast Asia are now recording spikes in daily rates of infections related to the Omicron variant. As Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines have resorted to restricting entry into their regions, other nations are assessing whether the milder variant is worth sacrificing the much-needed economic recovery.
“There’s very little [effect] that border closure and all that would have in terms of the impact in preventing the introduction of Omicron into various countries,” Dr. Ooi Eng Eong, an infectious disease expert from Duke-National University of Singapore Medical School, told Time Magazine.