Toyota Motor Corp. plans to increase its global output to a record high of around 9.2 million vehicles in 2021 as sales have been recovering from the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday.
The target is higher than the current record of 9.05 million units in 2019 before the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, marking a roughly 20 percent increase from 2020.
Just like other automakers, Toyota was hit by the pandemic. But the impact was less severe than its rivals, helping Toyota group reclaim the crown as the world's top-selling carmaker in 2020.
Toyota's global output in 2020 fell by half from a year ago in April due to the pandemic that led to hard lockdowns in some countries and reduced activity.
The Japanese automaker saw a strong recovery in demand in Chinese and North American markets in late 2020.
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Toyota plans to produce about 3.2 million vehicles in Japan, up from 2.92 million in 2020, according to the sources.
Toyota's plan to increase global output will impact parts companies and the broader manufacturing sector given that automakers form the backbone of the export-reliant Japanese economy.
Still, a global shortage of semiconductors is a concern for manufacturers as some automakers have already been forced to cut production.