Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota , Earnings/Financials , South America With uncertainty in the US and Chinese markets, automakers are scrambling to rev up their efforts in what were traditionally secondary markets. Take Toyota’s efforts in Latin America. A recent story from The Wall Street Journal highlights the Japanese brand’s push in the southern hemisphere, particularly in Brazil, where it has expanded its operations and installed new executives with a greater range of powers, all in a bid to grab a bigger slice of the ever-growing South American pie. South America is dominated by General Motors , Fiat and Volkswagen , which maintain a combined 60 percent of the market share – Toyota holds a mere 4.5 percent. The WSJ spoke with Steve St. Angelo, Toyota’s boss in Latin America, who said, “We are playing catch up, but we’re catching up fast. We now have the resources to give the region the attention it really needs and deserves.” That attention includes an all-new, locally produced small car called the Etios. As bewildering as it seems, Toyota wasn’t competing in the low-cost economy car market in South America. With the Etios , which arrived in September of 2012, its sales in the first seven months of 2013 are up 75 percent. Toyota is also expanding on its local infrastructure, which includes the $600 million Sorocabo factory, located near S
Filed under: Car Buying , Plants/Manufacturing , GM , Toyota , Volkswagen Toyota still holds the title of World’s Largest Automaker. The Japanese automaker ceded the claim to General Motors in 2011 following a series of natural and man-made disasters that stifled production in Asia. Production is back up to full speed and, coupled with the introduction of a new Camry midsize sedan, Toyota retook the title in 2012 and has so far been able to keep it by selling 2.43 million vehicles in the first quarter of 2013. The race is still tight – General Motors reports sales of 2.36 million vehicles, earning it the second spot globally with Volkswagen’s 2.27 million sales nabbing the German automaker third place. It’s not all smooth sailing for Toyota, either, as the brand’s first-quarter figures were down 2.2 percent when compared to last year. GM posted a 3.6-percent gain and VW managed a 5.1-percent gain over the same period. Sales in China may be a deciding factor as to which automaker performs best in 2013. Toyota’s figures were down 13 percent in China. Meanwhile, GM and VW are continuing their upward trajectories in the crucial Chinese market. As ever, each of the automakers says publicly it doesn’t care much about the title.
Filed under: Car Buying , China , Chevrolet , Ford , GM , Honda , Nissan , Toyota American automakers that conduct business in China have benefited from growing anti-Japanese sentiments among Chinese buyers, as most recent sales numbers indicate. According to Automotive News , a territorial dispute over uninhabited islands have resulted in Chinese consumers rejecting vehicles from Toyota , Honda and Nissan in increasing numbers. Meanwhile, sales of General Motors cars and minivans in its largest market grew 14 percent in October, to 251,812. Ford moved 60,518 units in China, representing a 48-percent increase in sales compared to the same month a year ago. Meanwhile, Toyota, Honda and Nissan sales have all taken nosedives. Toyota reported that its sales fell 44 percent last month, following a 49-percent drop in September. The latter two companies both announced their worst month-to-month decline in sales, dating back to 2007 for Honda and 2008 for Nissan. Still yet to be announced are Volkswagen sales in China. The German automaker has been battling GM for the top sales spot in China this year, and it outsold GM last quarter for the first time in eight years. When we last checked in on the two companies, GM had a slight year-to-date lead of 77,000 units.
Filed under: China , Japan , Honda , Nissan , Toyota , Earnings/Financials Automotive News reports Japanese manufacturers are set to cut production in China by half. Toyota , Nissan and Honda have seen sales fall off by steep margins in the People’s Republic after a territorial dispute between Japan and China resulted in anti-Japanese protests. Sales of Japanese goods have declined amid calls for boycotts all over China. As a result, Nissan is currently planning to halt the night shift at its two Chinese facilities. Toyota and Honda, meanwhile, will reduce production by cutting back work hours and slowing production lines. The news comes courtesy of a report in the Nikkei newspaper, but has not been confirmed by the manufacturers themselves. There’s no indication as to how long the cut in production will last. As Automotive News points out, Japanese manufacturers were already scaling back production to meet demand before the protests broke out. The Chinese economy is currently in its slowest period of growth in the past three years. Even so, the shift away from Japanese vehicles has seen Hyundai sales jump by 15 percent last month.
Filed under: China , Government/Legal , Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Honda , Mazda , Toyota