Toyota, beset by earthquake, posts second-worst N.A. production decline
Editor's note: Toyota began producing light vehicles in North America in 1986. An earlier version of this story gave the incorrect year for that production.
DETROIT -- Toyota Motor Corp. last year experienced its second-worst annual North American production loss -- a 14 percent decline spurred by natural disasters overseas.
Overall, Toyota and its joint ventures built around 1.26 million units in North America in 2011 compared with 1.46 million in 2010, according to a company statement and the Automotive News Data Center. The automaker began producing vehicles on the continent in 1986.
North American production was up for most other automakers, especially the Detroit 3: Chrysler Group rose 27 percent; Ford, 12 percent; and General Motors, 10 percent..
Asian automakers Hyundai-Kia and Nissan increased their North American production rates 35 percent and 16 percent, respectively.
Honda Motor Co. was the only other automaker to see a significant drop in North American production last year, falling 14 percent to 1.1 million units from nearly 1.3 million units in 2010.
Overall, North American production increased 10 percent last year to nearly 13.5 million units from about 12.2 million vehicles in 2010.
Toyota and Honda, and other automakers to a lesser extent, were beset by production delays and parts shortages linked to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Autumn floods in Thailand contributed to some additional production problems.
Toyota's North American production drop of 14 percent last year was just shy of its record decline of 15 percent in 2009, when Toyota built about 1.23 million units following the U.S. and global financial crises.
Toyota produces 12 models in North America: the Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Matrix, RAV4, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma, Tundra, Lexus RX 350 and Venza.
The only Toyota plant in the United States to see a production increase last year was Princeton, Ind., which builds the Sequoia, Sienna and Highlander. Highlander output rose by nearly 15,000 units, surpassing the about 11,000-unit production drop for the Sequoia and Sienna combined.
Despite increasing production of the Toyota Corolla at its Cambridge, Ontario, plant by about 12,000 units, it wasn't enough to account for major production declines at that plant for the Matrix and Lexus RX 350.
Toyota, which expects to build its 25 millionth vehicle in North America in 2012, will begin production of the EV RAV4 this year at its Woodstock, Ontario, plant.
For a full copy of the North American production chart, click here. You must be an Automotive News subscriber to get access.