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Automakers pessimistic about 2002 car supply (chip shortage) except you know who!

Tesla is crushing it, ramping up production each quarter. They expect to produce 1.42 million cars this year! Meanwhile everyone else is getting their ass handed to them. Tesla's quarterly production shown left.

Toyota, Honda Strike Pessimistic Note About 2022 Car Supply

‘Everyone is grasping’ for semiconductors, says Honda executive in Japan, where industry is more cautious than Detroit

Until now, Toyota has been ahead in weathering the pandemic’s supply-chain woes.

By Sean McLain, WSJ

Feb. 9, 2022 8:20 am ET

TOKYO—Japanese car makers said the stress on production from the pandemic was continuing, and a shortage of components was likely to stretch through this year, striking a more pessimistic tone than their peers in Detroit.

“It’s like everyone is grasping to get a supply of semiconductors,” said Seiji Kuraishi, Honda Motor Co. HMC +1.31% ’s chief operating officer. “We’re not able to project a clear sales volume.”

Honda on Wednesday reported a 32% decline in net profit for the October-December quarter, which it said was largely due to falling vehicle sales. Also Wednesday, Toyota Motor Corp. again ratcheted down production forecasts, citing semiconductor shortages and the effects of the Omicron wave of Covid-19.

General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. expressed more confidence early this month that the global pinch in chip supplies would ease. GM said it expected to deliver 25% to 30% more vehicles to dealers this year, while Ford said it expected global vehicle deliveries to increase between 10% and 15%.

Until now, Toyota has been ahead in weathering the pandemic’s supply-chain crunches, helping it become the sales leader in the U.S. for the first time in 2021.

But as the pandemic drags on, even Toyota and its fellow Japanese auto makers are feeling the pinch. The Japanese companies begin their fiscal year in April and haven’t issued forecasts beyond the current quarter, but they described a tough year ahead.

A Honda dealership in Highlands Ranch, Colo., last year had lots of empty space.


“It is inevitable that the situation will continue to be unstable into next fiscal year,” a Toyota executive said Wednesday.

The chip shortage has led to empty dealer lots in the U.S. and record prices for new cars. While car makers’ bottom lines are mostly healthy, they have struggled with repeated pandemic waves as well as natural disasters in places such as Southeast Asia where chips are assembled.

Car makers worry that they are missing out on sales. “Our problem isn’t how many we can sell, it’s how many we can produce,” said Ashwani Gupta, Nissan Motor Co. ’s chief operating officer.

Nissan’s market share in the U.S. fell to 5.9% in January from 6.4% a year ago, according to Autodata. Toyota, Honda and Mazda Motor Corp. also saw their shares of the market decline.

Car makers tend to project demand on a quarterly basis, but Mr. Gupta said that has switched to weekly reviews as Nissan tries to direct its limited supply of semiconductors to the factories that need them most.

Still, increased sales prices in the U.S. have helped push Nissan back into the black. It reported a net profit in the October-December quarter equivalent to $282 million, compared with a loss the year earlier.

As recently as November, Toyota said it believed the worst was over. “Although there is some risk of production decreases, it will recover quite a bit,” Kenta Kon, Toyota’s chief financial officer, said at the time.

Instead, Toyota has trimmed production forecasts this year, including an additional cut on Wednesday. The semiconductor shortage is expected to reduce production of Toyota and Lexus vehicles by 100,000 to 200,000 units in March alone compared with the company’s earlier forecast.

Subaru Corp. also said it encountered unanticipated shortages in January. “We had to halt operations at our domestic production base,” said Chief Financial Officer Katsuyuki Mizuma. Subaru said it expected sales of 740,000 vehicles in the year ending in March, down by 90,000 from the previous projection in November.

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