(Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp said on Tuesday its July global vehicle production fell 8.6% year-on-year, missing its target for four straight months, as COVID outbreaks, severe weather and a recall probe on top of a persistent chip shortage hurt output.
The world’s largest automaker by sales produced 706,547 vehicles worldwide last month, below its target of around 800,000 units and the year-ago output of 773,135.
Production in the first four months of the current fiscal year that started in April has fallen 10.3% short of its initial plan.
The global auto industry has weathered supply chain disruptions caused by chip shortages and China’s strict COVID restrictions, but Toyota has also been dealing with heavy rain in Japan, a production line halt due to a recall investigation and coronavirus outbreaks at a local plant.
Toyota said domestic production tumbled 28.2%, outweighing record July overseas production, up 4.5%, driven by a strong recovery in Europe, China and the rest of Asia.
However, the sustained weakness in overall performance in July has raised concerns that Toyota may have to lower its annual production target of 9.7 million vehicles, even as China dials back pandemic restrictions and chip shortages are showing some signs of easing.
The company said earlier this month it would hold to its annual production target as it plans to raise output through November, depending on supplies of parts and personnel. In September, it expects production to rebound to around 850,000 vehicles, a record for the month.
(Reporting by Satoshi Sugiyama; Editing by Miyoung Kim & Shri Navaratnam)