TORRANCE, CA – Toyota’s June sales call at the beginning of July provided insight into Toyota’s current production capacity, inventory levels, and which models have returned to 100 percent production in the wake of the March 11 earthquake in Japan. Here at Automotive Fleet we wanted to find out how fleet orders look with production capacity returning to normal, so we contacted Scott Heyer, Corporate Manager, Fleet, Toyota Rent A Car & Toyota Certified Used Vehicles at Toyota Motor Sales, USA Inc.

"As a result of production approaching normal levels in both North America and Japan, Toyota Fleet resumed accepting fleet orders on June 8 beginning with MY12 vehicles,” Heyer said.

During the sales call, Toyota’s Don Esmond, senior vice president for automotive operations, said eight of the automaker’s North American-built models returned to 100 percent production levels in early June. These models include the Camry, Corolla, Avalon, Highlander, Matrix, Sequoia, Sienna, and Venza.

He added that production of the four remaining North American-built models will return to 100 percent production by September. These models include the Lexus RX, RAV4, Tacoma, and Tundra. Lastly, he said that for the company’s Lexus brand, the majority of its models, which include the LS, ES, IS, CT and LX, are currently at pre-quake production levels.

For 2012-MY vehicles, Toyota’s Heyer gave Automotive Fleet an update on their delivery times.

“Earliest MY-2012 fleet delivery begins with Sienna and Tundra (September 2011), followed by Camry and Avalon (November/December 2011) with remaining vehicle lines January 2012 onward,” Heyer said. “MY-2012 commercial fleet incentives were also released June 8. We are back to very nearly operating in a normal business environment."

During the sales call, Toyota's Esmond provided a preview of the vehicles the company has planned for the end of this year and for CY-2012. He said the automaker will bring four all-new models to market before the end of 2011, which includes the new Camry and Camry Hybrid. He said the new Prius v will be available in the fall, that a new Yaris will be available, and that the Scion iQ will go on sale. For 2012, he said Toyota will be introducing the Prius c, Prius Plug-in, and RAV-4 EV, in addition to as-yet unannounced models.

By Greg Basich