Toyota's North American output fell in 2017

Toyota's North American output fell in 2017

by Drew Johnson

Toyota's North American plants weren't as busy in 2017.

Toyota's North American vehicle production slipped by more than 140,000 units in 2017 as consumers shifted away from some of the automaker's key products.

Toyota announced on Tuesday that it built 1,983,723 Toyota and Lexus-branded products at its 14 North American plants in 2017, down from 2,124,608 vehicles the year prior. That represents about a 1 percent dip in output.

Toyota's bread-and-butter Camry and Corolla passenger car models were largely responsible for the company's reduction in North American output. Likely due to a mix of a model year changeover and a general demand shift from cars to crossovers, total Camry and Corolla production fell by about 87,000 units.

Despite that shift from cars to crossovers, Toyota's utility vehicles weren't able to make up ground in 2017. In fact, most of the company's truck and utility models were flat or down in 2017, with the exceptions being the Tacoma, Tundra and Highlander. The Highlander was actually Toyota's biggest gainer in 2017, with production jumping from 222,578 units to 255,612 units.

Toyota makes 13 different Toyota and Lexus vehicles at its North American plants.

Toyota's North American production should see a bump in 2021 when it opens its 15th factory in the region. Set to be built in Huntsville, Alabama, the new facility will be jointly run with Mazda.