(Updates with comment from analyst in fourth paragraph.)
Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Toyota Motor Corp., Asia’s biggest automaker, reported an increase in global vehicle production for the first time in 12 months led by a quicker recovery in Japan.
Output in August rose 10.6 percent to 626,817 vehicles, the first increase after the government ended subsidies for fuel- efficient cars last September and the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the Toyota City, Japan-based company said in a statement today. Domestic output gained 12 percent to 252,374, while overseas production rose 9.8 percent to 374,443, it said.
Japanese carmakers including Toyota have been hiring temporary workers to boost production from October, as they aim to make up for lost output after the earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan caused shortages of parts and electricity. Toyota resumed full production at all of its North American plants this month and said it will expand U.S. output of small engines.
“The bottleneck disruptions in the parts supply seem to be ending quicker than expected,” said Satoru Takada, an analyst at TIW Inc. in Tokyo. “Supply of parts, including microcontrollers, have normalized, helping Toyota’s production return to normal.”
Toyota began recruiting temporary workers from July and plans to add as many as 4,000 in Japan.
Nissan Motor Co., Japan’s second-biggest carmaker, built 385,112 vehicles worldwide last month, 24 percent more than a year earlier.
Back to Normal
Carmakers plan to return to operating on Mondays through Fridays from next month at their domestic facilities, after shifting operation days and weekends from July to September to help avert power outages.
Toyota plans to operate for additional 10 days to make up for lost production in the first half, said Amiko Tomita, a spokeswoman for Toyota in Tokyo. The automaker expects supply at dealerships worldwide to normalize by March, she said.
The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said yesterday demand for cars in Japan in the six months ending March 31 may rise 17 percent from a year earlier to 2.97 million vehicles, while it expects a 3.3 percent decline to 4.45 million for the full fiscal year.
Honda Motor Co., Japan’s third-largest carmaker, said its global production in August fell 9.3 percent to 261,524 vehicles from a year earlier.
Toyota shares rose 0.7 percent to 2,678 yen at the 3 p.m. close of Tokyo trading.
--Editors: Kae Inoue, Subramaniam Sharma
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