Toyota's April global sales fall 11% on chip crunch, COVID lockdown

Toyota Motor Corp. said Monday its global sales in April dropped 11.1 percent from a year earlier to 763,708 vehicles, declining for the eighth straight month, hit by a worldwide semiconductor shortage and a COVID lockdown in Shanghai.

Global production fell 9.1 percent to 692,259 vehicles in April, slipping below the level a year earlier for the first time in three months, as the world's largest automaker by volume was forced to cut output due to supply constraints, it said.

The global production figure for the month fell short of the automaker's forecast of about 750,000 vehicles announced in March.

Toyota and other automakers have been forced to curb production due to a shortage of semiconductors, which are used in a wide range of products such as automobiles, air conditioners and smartphones, as demand has increased on the back of accelerating digitalization.

In Japan, its sales in April sank 16.8 percent from a year earlier to 103,143 units, including those of minivehicles, while its output fell 9.0 percent to 243,425 vehicles in the reporting month.

Toyota's overseas sales fell 10.2 percent to 660,565 vehicles, while output declined 9.1 percent to 448,834 units.

By region, Toyota's sales in China plunged 30.7 percent to 111,134 vehicles on weakening demand following a COVID-19 lockdown in Shanghai. Output in the country dived 33.8 percent to 93,297 units, affected by a plant closure in Changchun.

In North America, sales fell 19.7 percent to 218,837 vehicles in April from a year earlier, while production dropped 7.1 percent to 153,154 units, also impacted by the shortage of components.

"Conditions remain unclear regarding trends for both COVID-19 and parts supplies, but we will continue to make every effort to minimize the impact," Toyota said in a statement.

© Kyodo News