TOYOTA Motor Corporation’s September quarter sales rose to almost 5.6 million vehicles, up 8.3 per cent compared with the 2022 quarter, to place the world’s biggest car-maker in line for another year of strong gains on strong demand and improving supply conditions.
Global production in the quarter rose 10 per cent to a record 5,738,126 units, including subsidiaries Daihatsu Motor Company and Hino Motors.
Sales of Toyota and Lexus brand cars rose 22 per cent in Africa – the highest among all regions – followed by 17 per cent in the Middle East. They were up 9.4 per cent in North America and 7 per cent in Europe.
However, sales were relatively weak in some parts of Asia (excluding Japan) attributed partly to economic slowdowns in countries including Indonesia and Thailand.
In Australia, Toyota (including Lexus and Hino) sold 126,053 units in the April-September quarter, up 0.9 per cent on the corresponding period in 2022.
Like Australia, Toyota’s sales in China rose less than 1 per cent with the weak result attributed to Chinese car buyers switching to electric vehicles.
Toyota has only relatively recently launched EV models and now competes with nearly all Chinese car-makers who have entrenched EV sales.
Toyota’s weak performance in China follows strong sales last year, helped by the government’s stimulus measures.
The brand’s sales jumped 34 per cent in Japan as supply issues with semiconductors eased. Toyota sold 1,825,965 EVs in the six-month period, up 38 per cent from a year earlier.
During last week’s Japan Mobility Show, Lexus president Takashi Watanabe indicated Japan’s changing network was not sufficient for the uptake in EV sales.
“They’re still limited in number, but we’re also investigating and moving right now with a program for Lexus-specific charging stations,” he said.
For the month of September alone, Toyota’s sales were up 10.5 per cent from a year earlier, while output was almost unchanged.
In the September quarter, Honda Motor Company reported that its global output in the fiscal first half increased by more than 6 per cent, with sales rising 7.5 per cent despite a fall in Europe and China.
Nissan Motor Company said its global output and sales rose 2.8 per cent and 5.5 per cent, respectively, but it also saw weakness in China.
By Neil Dowling