Last week, two trade agency officials said that as Toyota Motor Corp. is expected to post its smallest profit in three years, the automaker wants to engage in talks to get hold of parts from South Korean companies such as Hyundai Mobis. These officials, who asked to keep their identities anonymous, said that Toyota is requesting the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency to set up meetings in Seoul with South Korean suppliers.
So far, neither Toyota nor Hyundai Mobis have commented. Buying parts from outside of Japan will aid Toyota in cutting costs after the yen strengthened more than other major currencies this year.
Doing this will also make it diversify procurement after a portion of its market share went to General Motors Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. and as the flooding in Thailand has interrupted production at car plants in Japan and the U.S.
Masatoshi Nishimoto, a Tokyo-based analyst at research firm IHS Automotive, said that Toyota will benefit from getting parts from Korea as it puts up a fight against the strengthening Japanese currency and as it diversifies production to be ready for natural disasters.
Nishimoto added that the disasters in Japan and Thailand had “severely hurt” Toyota’s production but Hyundai was “barely hurt.” Last week, Toyota cut its annual profit forecast by 54%. According to a report from the Asahi newspaper, Toyota officials were set to meet with Hyundai group officials on Thursday and Friday.
Toyota's sales have been increasing steadily in Europe over the last decade and this is due in no small part to the continued success of the Toyota Yaris. The third generation of the model has done much to increase the image of the brand, contributing to a 5% market share and is now considered a key segment of Toyota's European operation.
With an average of 4 million sales per year, the Yaris is a large part of Toyota's strategy for the European market. Fossil fuel powered vehicles remain the dominant force within the market with an average of over 60% of sales but over the last few years, there has been an upturn in the B-segment which the Yaris hopes to compete in.
It is the increased level of competition within the market which has seen the arrival of the SUV and the B-MPV; however the dominant factor within the B-segment continues to be the hatchback with an average 50% of all sales. This factor is in no small part aided by the increase in price in fuel and CO2 taxation which has led to many families downsizing traditionally larger vehicles. If this trend continues, it remains likely that B-segment sales will continue at their present rate.
Comfort, efficiency, and versatility when it comes to city-living are some of the things the second generation Toyota Yaris was praised for all this, along with a sumptuous interior.
The new Toyota Yaris has not abandoned these principles as some manufacturers have. Instead, they have called upon the things it is renowned for and created a vehicle which is more agile, has an increased efficiency in the powertrain, and technologically more superior in terms of its multimedia capacity and its transmission. It also now looks sharper with cleaner lines and smart aerodynamics.