Toyota Motor Corp. revised down its annual sales forecast for the industry by approximately 6% as supply constraints are expected to limit the industry’s ability to meet strong consumer demand.
Bob Carter, head of sales for Toyota Motor North America, said the automaker expects 15.5 million light-duty vehicle sales in the United States this year, up from an estimated 16.5 million in October.
“It’s an adjustment that, quite frankly, is not based on consumer demand,” Carter told reporters Wednesday during a media roundtable. “It’s based solely on our projections of what the supply environment will be like in 2022.”
The downward revision reflects continued constraints resulting from the global shortage of semiconductors, rising commodity prices and the ripple effects of the war in Ukraine on the supply chain.
These issues led to tight new vehicle inventories, which led to a 16% year-over-year decline in U.S. new-vehicle sales industry-wide in the first trimester. According to Motor Intelligence, the seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate stood at 13.4 million in March, down sharply from 17.79 million a year earlier.
Carter said Toyota has a good idea of its supply chain for the second and third quarters of this year, but the outlook for the fourth quarter remains “cloudy.” If his fourth-quarter supply assumption for the industry is too high, the annual sales tally could drop to 14.9 or 15 million, he said.
Still, the automaker is “reasonably confident” in its estimate of 15.5 million.