Conventional wisdom might tell you that Toyota should have lost loads of money last quarter in the wake of the company's largest-ever global recall and safety scandal. Perhaps it shouldn't surprise us too much to hear that conventional wisdom would be all wrong. In reality, Toyota reported a profit between January and March of this year of $1.2 billion.
Despite internal predictions that its current throttle-related recall costs may dent company coffers by up to $2 billion this quarter, Toyota has raised its projections for the fiscal year ending in March. That's according to Reuters, who note that the increase comes after the automaker beat its third quarter estimates.
Toyota is not used to seeing its profit margins drop, as the Japanese auto giant has enjoyed increased profit for nine straight years. Expect that run to end this year, though, as Toyota is discovering that it is not immune to the downturn of the American auto market. For the year, Toyota has revised its sales forecast from 9.06 million units to an estimated 8.74 million. For the first quarter of the year that ended in June, Toyota has also announced that its operating profit took a 39% plunge f
The current economic environment in the United States is hurting all auto makers these days, even mighty Toyota, which was once considered immune to so-called market realities. Though its overall performance last year would be considered a stellar achievement for any other automaker, Toyota's 28% profit plunge in the fourth quarter of 2007 points to an expected 27% drop in annual profits in 2008. If Toyota's revised forecast proves accurate, 2008 would break a nine-year stretch of profit growth.
Whenever we talk about GM's performance in the global market, people invariably want to hear about how well Toyota is doing in the same arena. The Japanese automaker has been nipping at the General's heels in terms of the number of units each automaker has sold globally so far this year. Earlier in the year, Toyota actually surpassed GM in global sales, but the American auto giant has since regained the lead in year-to-date global sales and keeps it through Q3.