Toyota Motor Corporation ( TM ) has decided to increase the production of its fuel cell vehicle, Mirai, over the next couple of years to meet the expected increase in demand. The car, which was launched in Japan slightly over a month ago, is gaining popularity. It has already generated 1,500 orders for Toyota in the first month after launch.
In addition, the automaker will be launching the fuel cell vehicle in the U.S. and Europe by mid-2015. This will generate further demand. Thus, Toyota has decided to adjust its supply levels to meet the anticipated demand.
The company will increase the production of Mirai to 2,000 units in 2016 from 700 units planned for this year. The production will be increased further to 3,000 units in 2017.
Toyota will decide the volume of supply of these vehicles to be made to Japan, the U.S. and Europe after considering various factors. Some of the factors to be considered are the level of hydrogen infrastructure development, energy policies, car-purchasing subsidies, consumer demand and environmental regulations in each region.
Toyota has around 30 hydrogen filling stations in Japan covering the cities, Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya in central and western Japan, and the northern part of Kyushu Island in the south. The automaker has also opened hydrogen filling stations in California in the U.S. Toyota also plans to open some fuel stations in the Northeast U.S., Germany and the U.K.
Toyota currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Better-ranked auto stocks include Advance Auto Parts Inc. ( AAP ), O'Reilly Automotive Inc. ( ORLY ) and Douglas Dynamics, Inc. ( PLOW ). All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).