Honda And Toyota Both Expect To Deliver More Cars To Customers As Production Struggles Ease: Reports

Morning Dump Honda Sales Production

Honda predicts a production increase, Porsche sets a new Nürburgring record, Fisker seems to be doing alright. All this and more in today’s issue of The Morning Dump.

Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.

Honda’s Production Outlook Seems Quite Positive

05 2023 Honda Cr V Sport
Photo credit: Honda

Automotive News reports that rather than recession doom and gloom, Honda’s focusing on actually making cars to deliver. It’s a promising announcement that could represent a turning point for an automotive industry embattled with supply chain shortages.

Many uncertainties still loom over the auto sector, Honda Chief Financial Officer Kohei Takeuchi said.

Takeuchi said higher inflation and interest rates will “eventually have an impact on the economy.” Honda has 48,300 vehicles in the U.S. market, and its first move will be filling orders. “Rather than taking immediate measures with a recession in mind, we have to focus on delivering our vehicles to customers,” Takeuchi said.

Honda said production is already rebounding, with the resumption of activity in Shanghai. And it predicts it can make up for a lackluster fiscal first quarter in the rest of the fiscal year.

It kept its earlier outlook steady for sales of 4.2 million vehicles in the current fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2023. That represents a 3.1 percent increase over the previous fiscal year.

I like Honda’s approach, focusing on the biggest challenge at hand rather than economic trends. While I’m sure that more price hikes aren’t out of the question if component prices keep rising, it’s good to know that Honda plans on maintaining a steady flow of Civics, Accords, and CR-Vs onto the streets. For anyone who’s been waiting for news that the new car shortage could start easing, Honda’s focus offers hope that news of relief will come soon.

Toyota Sticks To Its Production Expectations

2023 Toyota 4runner 40th Anniversary Black 001
Photo credit: Toyota

It seems that Honda isn’t the only automaker feeling bullish about ramping up production. Despite lingering supply chain issues, Reuters reports that Toyota hasn’t cut expected production numbers for 2022.

Toyota Motor Corp said on Wednesday it would hold to its plan to produce 9.7 million vehicles globally this fiscal year, even as it announced another stoppage related to the spread of COVID-19.

That stoppage involves three lines at Toyota’s Motomachi plant in Japan going idle for several days in September. The Motomachi plant produces a wide variety of vehicles from performance cars like the Lexus LC 500 and Toyota GR Yaris, to EVs, to minivans. As such, your guess is as good as mine on what particular lines Toyota plans on idling. Still, the Japanese automaker remains hopeful that production can increase as the year goes on.

Toyota says it expects to produce about 850,000 vehicles globally in September and would seek to raise production through November, depending on supplies of parts and personnel.

It feels like the key here is “depending on supplies of parts and personnel.” It’s hard to predict what the next parts shortage will be and who might get sick, so I’m not entirely confident in Toyota’s production predictions. A lot of pieces must fall into place reasonably well for this planned production ramp-up to work. I guess we’ll know in January if everything goes smoothly or if production estimates are optimistic.

Porsche Sets New EV Nürburgring Record


It was inevitable, right? While Tesla’s notarized Model S Plaid Nordschleife lap time of 7:35.579 is quite impressive, it felt like only a matter of time before Porsche attempted to reclaim the EV Nordschleife lap record. Sure enough, the engineers at Porsche weren’t about to be bested by Silicon Valley, so they fiddled about with a Taycan Turbo S fitted with PDCC so it could set a blistering time of 7:33.350. For the record, that’s quicker than the BMW M3 Touring, the Audi RS3, and the 991 Porsche 911 Carrera S.

Porsche claims that apart from a roll cage and some lightweight seats, the lap record Taycan Turbo S was identical to a production-spec car down to vehicle weight. So what exactly is in this performance kit that helped Porsche beat Tesla’s time? Let’s turn to Porsche’s press release to find out.

The performance kit includes 21-inch RS-Spyder-design wheels with road-approved, Pirelli P Zero Corsa sports tyres that are now available for the Taycan. Their tyre compound is similar to that of racing tyres. Another element of the performance kit is a software update to the Porsche 4D Chassis Control so that it works in harmony with the sports tyres. The system analyses and synchronises all the chassis systems of the Taycan in real time. “In the past, only thoroughbred super sports cars got into the 7:33 range,” says Kern. “With the new performance kit I was able to push even harder, and the car was even more precise and agile to boot.”

That’s it? Tires and a software update? Color me impressed. No extra power, brakes, or cooling necessary, Porsche just mounted some stickier tires, retuned the chassis electronics, and gave it hell. Unfortunately, the performance kit isn’t available in America just yet. German Porsche customers can buy it through Porsche’s Tequipment accessory division, but there’s no word yet on availability in other markets. Fingers crossed that the sticky P Zero Corsa rubber and software update see wider availability soon.

Fisker Seems To Be Doing Alright

Fisker Ocean Silver In Rabbit Lake; Looking Up The Sky
Photo credit: Fisker, Inc.

It’s been a really tough year for EV startups. Electric Last Mile Solutions went bankrupt, Canoo announced liquidity concerns, and markets have been fairly cold to SPACs. However, Automotive News Europe reports that Fisker still seems to be enjoying some success.

Fisker has taken 4,000 reservations for the Pear electric compact car, which is scheduled for production in 2024, company founder Henrik Fisker said.

The car will feature an innovative wraparound windshield that the company previewed in a new teaser picture of the Pear.

The Pear’s starting price will be less than $30,000, Fisker has promised.

Well, that’s certainly ambitious. Seeing 4,000 reservations is great, but 2024 is still two years away so things could very much change. Besides, Fisker still has to launch its Ocean crossover, made by Magna. While the Ocean certainly made a statement at the 2021 Los Angeles auto show, its launch timeline this year seems quite tight. Still, the Automotive News Europe report sheds some encouraging light on the crossover.

Fisker said Magna had built 55 prototypes ahead production of the car in November.

Fisker has 56,000 reservations for the car, and 5,000 pre-orders, for which customers paid non-refundable deposits, Fisker said.

While 5,000 pre-orders doesn’t sound terribly encouraging at first, it’s worth noting that Fisker only plans to make 5,000 launch editions of the Ocean, and that the aforementioned non-refundable deposits are $5,000 per car. Given Magna’s established reputation for building vehicles, I’m cautiously optimistic about this iteration of Fisker.

The Flush

Whelp, time to drop the lid on today’s edition of The Morning Dump. It’s Thursday, which means that the weekend is just around the corner. While I’m off to our car show in Los Angeles this Saturday, I’d love to know what everyone’s automotive plans are for the weekend. Whether a bit of bodywork or simply a drive to get gelato, how will you indulge in cars?

Lead photo credit: Honda

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31 Responses

  1. the supply chains are going to be bumpy for a while. basically a giant compression wave in a spring that keeps rippling back and forth. some plants can only run 3-4hrs in a shift until they’re out of critical parts.

    As for the weekend, Finishing up some body repairs on the FZJ80 and attempting to weatherproof the M715 a bit better ahead of my Sept trip

  2. I’ve got some regular maintenance to do on the fleet. I think I might also list my Saab for sale. I think I’m ready for something else fun. Open to suggestions– it should be stick shift, strange, and under $10k.

      1. I love the C30. My sister has one and I’ve had it on/off for long stretches since new. I also do all the maintenance for her. If you get one, see if you can score the teak interior (far more common on the C70 convertibles). A few years back I swapped my sister’s silver interior with the teak– I now affectionately call it her little land yacht.

  3. I’m planning on deep-cleaning the interior of the Mustang since it almost never gets attention. I replaced my tie rods so I need to verify my steering shake is gone and I need to get my wife’s Subaru inspected. Lots to do!

  4. All going well I’ll be joining you on Saturday. Gotta swap wheels/tires on the car I plan to drive up after work today, it’s currently on autocross tires which are not fun to hear/feel on LA freeways.

  5. Seems like Fisker handling the design while outsourcing the manufacturing to Magna is a winning combo. Each does what they’re best at. Well, as long as they talk to each other and work on the partnership.

    I’m checking tire pressures on my camper and tow pig. Then using them for their respective purposes.

    1. “Seems like Fisker handling the design while outsourcing the manufacturing to Magna is a winning combo.”

      In theory I agree, so I’m curious to see how it works out when the cars start getting delivered and driven by customers.

  6. My car plans? I plan on giving all the vehicles a very thorough windshield cleaning, inside and out. Then I’ll apply fresh treatments of Rain-X using a painter’s pad and a buffer dedicated for use only for finishing up Rain-X treatments. I already use water repellent wiper fluid, but I find the manual treatment is super easy with a buffer, and the enhanced effect is definitely worth the effort.

    Too many other things going on at this time of summer to do much more than that.

  7. The Autopian car show is the first time I’ve regretted spending my summers in the Colorado mountains since I purchased a home in Tucson, AZ. Had I been “home” I could have made a long weekend trip to attend.

    Alas, I guess a birthday gathering with friends will have to do. No specific automotive plans aside from using one for transport.

  8. Glad to see production is getting back to normal somewhat for a few manufacturers. Not surprised that Porsche isn’t going to bring their best to North America just yet. It’s always been that way for VW/Porsche. They make us wait. When I was younger, during my dating years, playing those kind of games always meant that I would lose interest, and let the relationship die. I’m getting that way about cars too. Bring your best. If I’m not worth your ‘A’ game right now, then the way I see it, you’re just not worth my time either. You can f**k off with that Scheiße.

  9. I plan to take measurements on my microcar(currently stripped down to the bare frame and seat) in order to accurately model the new hard points and clerances for the next body shell after installing rear suspension and extending the wheelbase. It’s next body is going to be based off of an extremely efficient Milan SL velomobile I purchased, except my vehicle will have more ground clearance and the body shell will scaled to fit the wider track of my custom machine. The Milan can do 60 mph on 1 horsepower of pedaling, so building an electric microcar off of the design is a no-brainer. I expect to have double the drag of the Milan when finished, but that is still going to be VERY slippery. Probably looking at a CdA of under 0.1 m^2.

    In the long term, I eventually want to build a vehicle of roughly 150 lbs that can maintain 120 mph on roughly 6 horsepower, then dump like 200+ electric horsepower with AWD in it via an in-wheel hub motor powering each wheel. Can’t go wrong there from a performance OR an efficiency OR an operating cost standpoint. 0-120 mph in under 5 seconds is theoretically possible in a vehicle that can travel 300 miles on less than $0.25 of electricity.

    My current iteration falls well short of the above, but it is usable(or at least was until I disassembled it).

  10. I plan on taking our Outback in to get a tire fixed. I pulled a nail out and used a patch kit but it didn’t seem to take.. still bleeding air about as quick as before. Or there is another nail in there that I didn’t see. Either way I am sick of messing with it.

    I’ve got a Street Demon carb that I need to finish cleaning and put back together for the F150. I’ve got a 4bbl intake coming this weekend as well. I need to finish doing research and gathering parts to replace the whole fuel system on that truck, but that will be a project for another weekend.

  11. “Well, that’s certainly ambitious. Seeing 4,000 reservations is great, but 2024 is still two years away so things could very much change. Besides, Fisker still has to launch its Ocean crossover, made by Magna.”

    So let me see if I understand this correctly. Fisker, has contracted Magna – a legendary manufacturer with many decades of experience. Magna International. Every car in the world has or has had Magna designed and built parts in it. Transmissions, motors, axles, rear view mirrors, headlights, they have made it all. They can make it all. They’ve been doing it for decades.
    And somehow they have not launched a car that somebody else, somebody with decades of automotive industry expertise, is building entirely for them.

    Yeaaaaaaaaah, I would not call that “doing fine.” I’d call that “stalling for time so they can keep burning that sweet, sweet VC cash.”

    This isn’t the first, second, or even third ‘take the VC money and run’ for Henrik since he left Ford/Aston Martin. Fisker Coachbuild (which just ended up being design work.) Fisker Automotive – which failed when the DOE froze their loans for failing to meet milestones. HF Design, another design firm, which turned out a coachbuilt Mustang design for Galpin. Which led to joining VLF Automotive when they took the design as the VLF Rocket V8, and only ran for 3 years. But hey, in the meantime, he founded a new Fisker Inc.
    So, yeah, I can let the track record speak for itself.

    “I’d love to know what everyone’s automotive plans are for the weekend. Whether a bit of bodywork or simply a drive to get gelato, how will you indulge in cars?”

    Hopefully a cruise in tonight and a Cars & Coffee on Saturday and just facepalming at someone who massively overpaid for a thoroughly, utterly thrashed car that they literally cannot get the necessary repair parts for.
    How do I know this? Well, because I know the person who bought absolute last of many of those parts ever made as spares for their own car.

  12. I feel like I read the same article a year ago…that Toyota in particular thought things were about to turn a corner. Yet here we are with dealers packing stickers on the two Corolla LEs in the show room.

  13. One of the grain trucks wouldn’t unlock its trailer tires when my uncle attempted to move it, so I’m going to learn about air brakes in practice instead of just theory this weekend.

    Hopefully it’s something straightforward like a line blockage not allowing air to the spring diaphragms.

  14. Woodward Friday night, and then the plan is to figure out the hyperflash on my brother’s ’01 Mustang, which probably will require pulling the front fascia to check on the load resistor under the headlight bucket. Ideally, I’d like to get something done on the Camaro this weekend as well – I need to check the starter wiring and see if that was the issue that wouldn’t let it kick over to engage back in November, or if I just need to swap the whole thing out (it is probably original – so 41 years old).

    Whether or not I actually do anything regarding that car is another thing entirely, but since my wife is gone for the weekend, I probably will have the motivation to.

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