Toyota sharply lowers profit forecast in wake of Thai floods

2011 has been a trying year for Toyota, as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the flooding in Thailand have conspired to slow vehicle production and cut into profits. Toyota lowered its profit forecast after the Japan disaster, and now Automotive News reports that the automaker is once again cutting expected profits by a significant margin.

Toyota has cut its forecast by 54 percent to reflect manufacturing issues resulting from the Thailand floods. The company is now expecting to make $2.3 billion in the fiscal year ending March 31. In a down economy, a profit is a profit, but this is a far cry from the $10 billion or more Toyota had been earning annually for years.

The revised profit forecast is reportedly less than half of what analysts have expected. The flooding alone will reportedly account for more than $1.5 billion in lost profits. Toyota has also cut vehicle production numbers from 7.6 million vehicles to 7.38 million.

While this is all bad news for Toyota, it's safe to say that the automaker remains in pretty good shape overall. After all, the Japanese automaker has suffered through two major natural disasters in a matter of six months, and it's still expecting a profit. When compared to the billions of dollars lost by Ford, General Motors and Chrysler due to man-made factors a few years ago, the situation at Toyota is hardly as dire as it could be.

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