Toyota Motor Corporation on Wednesday lowered its 2022 outlook for the auto industry’s new-car sales in the United States.
In the new projection, the Japanese automaker forecasted 15.50 million light-vehicle sales. This guidance declined 6.00% from its prior estimate of 16.50 million.
This year, the company expects US sales for its Toyota and Lexus brands to finish at 2.35 million cars.
The downward revision reflects the struggles in the supply chain caused by the pandemic. Accordingly, the tight health restrictions hardly hit the global industry.
Toyota anticipated these constraints to limit the sector’s ability to meet high consumer demand.
In addition, the ongoing geopolitical crisis between Russia and Ukraine fueled the subsequent shortage of semiconductor chips.
The conflict also contributed to the soaring prices of raw materials such as aluminum and nickel. Toyota anticipated that customers would carry the burden of the mounting costs.
Nevertheless, the firm does not see vehicle affordability being an issue this year.
It further mentioned that it would take six months for inventory rates to normalize after the supply chain recovers.
These issues have led to a tight new-vehicle market. It further resulted in a year-over-year US sales decline of 16.00% industry-wide during the first quarter.
Moreover, the annualized selling rate came in at 13.40 million in March. This figure is sharply lower from 17.79 million a year earlier.
Nevertheless, the carmaker has good insight into its supply chain for the second and third quarters of this year.
However, the outlook for the fourth quarter remains murky. Subsequently, if the assumption for Q4 supply went too high, the annual sales tally could dip to as low as 14.90 million.
Toyota adopts Tesla’s camera-only approach
On the same day, Toyota unit Woven Planet announced that it joined Tesla Inc. in testing advanced self-driving technology.
This feature uses low-cost cameras to collect data and effectively train its system. It is a breakthrough that the firms hope to help drive down costs.
The leading electric vehicle maker already bet on cameras to gather data from over 1.00 million vehicles on the road. This effort is to develop its automated driving technology.
Meanwhile, Alphabet’s Waymo utilized expensive sensors like lidars for a small number of vehicles.
Woven Planet utilizes cameras that are 90.00% cheaper and offers easy installation in fleets of passenger cars.
Regardless, Toyota would still use multiple sensors for robotaxis and other autonomous vehicles on the road. Subsequently, sensors are currently the best, safest approach.