Toyota feels its foundation shakeToyota feels its future shake after an earthquake in Japan, piling onto its already long list of logistical speed bumps.
🔍 Key points:
- A major earthquake in Japan has forced Toyota to shutter its operations in the region (along with other automakers) for several days this week, idling some factories and once again cutting production.
- The automotive industry is already going through a tough time thanks to persistent and worsening supply chain constraints, and Toyota already had to scale back production in Japan by 20% last week.
- Analysts think the balance sheet will take a hit, not just at Toyota but across the industry. It’s expected that the earthquake will mean up to 35k cars won’t be produced, and analyst Stephanie Brinley says “it's just not what the industry needs to deal with right now”.
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My kingdom for a chipAnyone with hopes that the supply crunch will end soon just has to look at Toyota’s newly scaled back production plans to see the struggle ain't over yet.
🔍 Key points:
- Toyota is scaling back domestic production by up to 20% in the next three months as Japan’s largest automaker continues to try and ease the strain on suppliers struggling to find chips and other parts to make the cars.
- Toyota already slashed its worldwide production by 40% in September because of the shortage, so things must be getting worse. It’s not the only one having to make concessions though: earlier this month Rivian upped its vehicle prices to deal with parts shortages and inflation, a decision met with severe consumer backlash.
- Speaking of Toyota suppliers, another one of them has been hit by a cyber attack – Japanese firm Denso, which is a top supplier for the automaker, confirmed on Sunday that its German network was targeted by a ransomware attack last week. It comes on the back of another supplier hack at the beginning of month that forced Toyota to shutter operations in all of its Japanese factories.
Somebody hit the brakesToyota is forced to briefly shut down a bunch of its factories after a suspected cyber attack takes down its systems.
- Toyota suspended all 14 of its domestic factory operations in Japan on Tuesday (for just the day at this point, though maybe longer) after a cyber attack took down the computer systems at one of its largest parts suppliers.
- Toyota says it’s too soon to say what exactly happened, but Japanese officials had expressed concerns earlier in the day that domestic companies could be targeted in cyber attacks. The country joined the Western world in placing sanctions on Russia over the weekend, so some are wondering if that could be behind the suspected attack.
- Over 13k vehicles will not be produced because of the closures. Japanese factories represent roughly one-third of Toyota's annual production, and the shutdown comes at a time when Toyota is already struggling to manage the global semiconductor shortage.
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Toyota dethrones GMToyota stock puts the pedal to the metal to take the lead in the automaker race to the top.
- The stock ended Tuesday up nearly 7% at a brand new all time high.
- It was America’s top-selling automaker in 2021, beating out GM (GM) for the title for the first time in 90 years. It sold 2.3m cars in 2021, up over 10% y-o-y, thanks to its impressive stash of chips that helped it sidestep the supply shortages.
- Mainstream automakers are all in on EVs as they try to defend their market share from the likes of Tesla (TSLA). In December, Toyota announced plans to roll out 30 EVs by the end of the decade.
Yet more Covid cuts for ToyotaA resurgence of COVID cases in Asia worsens the ongoing chip shortage and forces Toyota to cut its 2021 forecast.
Asia has seen a resurgence of the Coronavirus, which has had a knock-on effect on Toyota’s production and has forced a reduction in its production targets. The automaker will only make about 40% of the vehicles it planned to in October around the world, and it has cut its annual production target by 3%. The news comes less than a month after Toyota cut its global output by 40% on the back of the chip shortage. The automaker said:
Key reasons for the production adjustment include a decline in operations at several local suppliers due to the prolonged spread of Covid-19 in Southeast Asia and the impact of tighter semiconductor supplies. The spread of Covid-19 infections remains unpredictable, making it difficult to maintain operations due to lockdowns at various locations.
Prices lost 2.81% on Friday.
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Toyota ups its electric gameElectric is the new black among automakers and in an effort to keep up, Toyota kicks it up a gear with plans to spend $13.6 billion on new tech over the next decade.
Traditional automakers across the board are making moves to join the electric side of life, with industry leaders like Ford (F) committing $22 billion to electrification in the next few years. The world's largest automaker by volume, Toyota, is making sure to stay on trend with a new investment of ¥1.5tn ($13.6bn) by 2030 towards electric vehicle battery tech. The goal is to reduce the overall battery cost per vehicle by 50%, which would be a pretty huge achievement.
The company also plans to launch 15 new EVs by 2025 and sell over 8 million electrified cars by the end of the decade.
Volkswagen (VOW) has gotten involved too, with the world's second-largest automaker saying on Tuesday that it plans to up its investment into EVs and autonomos tech – leaving people wondering what General Motors (GM) is doing amongst all this to keep up in the changing and competitive market. It’s tough at the top.
Image: Toyota BZ4X, Toyota Media Gallery