Toyota is a car company that seemingly can do no wrong. They catch a lot of flak from the enthusiast community for being boring, but the numbers speak for themselves. Toyota has been the golden child as far as sales go for some time now. Never have they dipped out of the top 5 in total sales since their stratospheric rise on the waves of reliability and affordable transportation. When you buy a car for reliability, it’s likely your mind immediately goes to Toyota.
Toyota is almost lexicon with how synonymous it is with reliability. Because of this, they were the largest auto maker in the world last year. But strangely, Volkswagen dethroned them in 2016 even with the diesel emissions scandal. That’s slightly alarming. Toyota’s final numbers for 2016 were 10.18 million vehicles sold worldwide, up 0.2 percent from 2015. Volkswagen sold 10.31 million vehicles, up 3.8 percent from 2015.
But there’s more bad news other than just that.
Is Toyota In Trouble?
Toyota’s sales have been stellar for as long as I can remember. In fact, they recorded record profits in Q4 last year, totaling $4.3 billion in US dollars. But that was down from $5.59 billion the year prior. That’s a 23.1% decrease in one year, nearly one-quarter of overall profits. Not good. Toyota is still a powerhouse, but this begs the question is Toyota in trouble.
I can firmly answer that with a resounding no. Toyota should be more than fine. There’s a few things that we can attribute this to.
- Exchange rates sucked during this same period, contributing to the decrease in profit
- Sales were down overall, but up in North America, Asia (including Japan), and Europe
Toyota’s Path Forward
Toyota is about to make a major comeback in the performance world with the upcoming Supra replacement. It was just caught testing in a snowy and drifty environment.
Couple that with the joint effort on that car with BMW, and Toyota is solidified for a while in at least one sector of the automotive landscape. This isn’t even going in to the brand new Camry redesign that finally makes the Camry not feel like a rolling brick. They also make quality trucks and should continue to grow there this year.
Toyota should be just fine, but they have some work to do to unseat VW once again.