Filed under: Toyota Big T Is Back Despite Recalls, Earthquakes And Politics Can anything slow Toyota down? Only a couple of years ago, the Japanese giant seemed as vulnerable as a sumo wrestler with vertigo as it struggled to explain away a series of safety and quality snafus that forced it to recall an unprecedented 14 million vehicles worldwide. Then, just it was getting back on its feet, the maker was body-slammed by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that all but shut down the Japanese auto industry , leaving the industry giant struggling under severe inventory shortages for the rest of the year. Only a couple of years ago, the Japanese giant seemed as vulnerable as a sumo wrestler with vertigo. Yet, just like that sumo wrestler, Toyota has repeatedly shaken off the hardest hits. Despite somewhat mixed reviews , its Camry has continued to dominate the midsize passenger car segment – helping Toyota drive sales gains that have, in recent months, run triple the pace of the overall US automotive recovery. In fact, Toyota’s loyalty rate is once again setting the industry benchmark, according to a new study by Experian Automotive , something that suggests the recent sales surge is more than just pent-up demand as buyers catch up after the shortages of 2011. So, what to make of the unexpected move by Standard & Poors, the influential financial ratings agency, which this month downgraded the maker’s stock from a “Hold” to “Buy” rating? Now, to be sure, this was no panic move. S&P didn’t tell investors to dump Toyota and race somewhere else with their money.
Filed under: Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota 2011 has been a trying year for Toyota , as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the flooding in Thailand have conspired to slow vehicle production and cut into profits. Toyota lowered its profit forecast after the Japan disaster, and now Automotive News reports that the automaker is once again cutting expected profits by a significant margin. Toyota has cut its forecast by 54 percent to reflect manufacturing issues resulting from the Thailand floods. The company is now expecting to make $2.3 billion in the fiscal year ending March 31. In a down economy, a profit is a profit, but this is a far cry from the $10 billion or more Toyota had been earning annually for years. The revised profit forecast is reportedly less than half of what analysts have expected. The flooding alone will reportedly account for more than $1.5 billion in lost profits. Toyota has also cut vehicle production numbers from 7.6 million vehicles to 7.38 million. While this is all bad news for Toyota, it’s safe to say that the automaker remains in pretty good shape overall. After all, the Japanese automaker has suffered through two major natural disasters in a matter of six months, and it’s still expecting a profit.
Filed under: Marketing/Advertising , Mercedes-Benz , Nissan , Toyota , Earnings/Financials , Ferrari Automakers fared extremely well in Interbrands’ Best Global Brands 2011 Report. The study, which ranks the financial strength of all kinds of brands around the world, was topped by Coca-Cola, IBM, Microsoft, Google and General Electric. Most automakers either held fast or moved up in the top 100, with the exception of Ferrari , which fell from 91 to 99. Despite having a rough row to hoe these last two years, Toyota still leads the automaker pack on the list, sitting tight this year at number 11, after dropping from eighth last year , followed closely at 12 by Mercedes-Benz . Nissan popped back on to the list this year, making a surprise comeback at 90 after a four-year absence. According to Interbrands, both Nissan and Toyota showed enough resilience in the face of both the earthquake and Toyota’s quality control issues that their brand value actually increased for 2011. Funnily enough, Ford was the only one of the Detroit automakers to make the list. Others on the list included BMW , which held fast at 15, Honda , which jumped one place to 19, Volkswagen which climbed from 53 to 47, Ford , which held fast at 50. Audi and Hyundai both moved up four places, into 59 and 61, respectively. Porsche held its footing at 72, while Nissan and Ferrari brought up the rear.
Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota Toyota has announced that it expects its North American production to reach 100 percent capacity as early as September – far ahead of original post-quake estimates. So far, eight of the company’s 12 models built in North America are back to 100 percent capacity, and total production is hoped to improve by as much as 80 percent by August. In an official press release, Bob Carter, Toyota’s group vice president and general manager, says that the progress is thanks to the hard work of individuals both here and in Japan, and that the upcoming months will focus on ramping up output to make up for lost time. After Japan’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters last March, Toyota wasn’t expected to reach full manufacturing capacity in North America until December at the earliest. Click past the break to check out the quick press release. Continue reading Toyota says NA production to recover by September, earlier than expected Toyota says NA production to recover by September, earlier than expected originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 17 Jun 2011 11:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Honda , Nissan , Toyota Japan’s Renesas Electronics Corp. is moving up the restart date for automotive microchip production at its last inactive plant. The company says it should have operations back up and running at its Naka plant the week of June 15, a couple weeks earlier than its original estimate. Renesas is the world’s largest supplier of chips for cars, and is a major kink in the parts supply line for Japanese automakers. The Naka plant was damaged in the March earthquake , and will be Renesas’ last facility to resume production. The plant will operate on a limited schedule at first, building around 3,000 200-millimeter wafers a month, down from a pre-earthquake total of almost 34,000. To compensate, the company has shifted some production burden from Naka to its other manufacturing plants. For now, Renesas is focused on getting any production restarted, but should know by mid-May when it can resume at full capacity. Read the press release after the jump . [Source: Renesas via Automotive News | Image: Renesas Electronics Corporation] Continue reading Renesas Electronics to restart automotive microchip production early Renesas Electronics to restart automotive microchip production early originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 23 Apr 2011 14:05:00 EST.