Toyota’s profit for the 2012 financial year, which ended on March 31, plummeted 30 per cent to 284 billion yen ($3.54 billion) as the brand’s global vehicle sales stagnated. More than 40 per cent of that profit was achieved in the last quarter (January-March), where the company’s profits more than quadrupled to 121 billion yen ($1.51 billion) compared with the same period in 2011.
With production back in full swing, Japan’s largest vehicle manufacturer has forecast a 760 billion yen ($9.48 billion) profit for the 2013 financial year. It expects to sell an additional 1.35 million vehicles this year, taking its 12-month forecast to 8.7 million cars – a figure that could see it wrestle back its position as the world’s largest manufacturer from General Motors and Volkswagen.
GM was the world’s biggest automaker in 2011, selling 9.03 million vehicles and recording a 12-month profit of $7.6 billion.
Toyota president Akio Toyoda described the 2012 financial year as “extremely challenging”, but said the efforts of the company’s employees, suppliers and dealers meant production and sales recovered faster than anticipated.
“I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for their efforts to improve our business structure,” Toyoda said. “Thanks to their hard work, we were able to remain profitable, even in such a challenging environment.
“And special thanks, of course, go to our customers, who continue to demonstrate their loyalty in choosing Toyota and Lexus vehicles.”
Toyota’s sales increased in Japan (+8.3 per cent), Asia (+5.7 per cent) and Europe (+0.3 per cent) in the 2012 financial year but decreased in North America (-7.8 per cent) and ‘other regions’ (-2.3 per cent), which includes Africa, Central and South America, and Oceania.
Toyota Australia is yet to release its 2012 financial year results. Sales of Toyota vehicles fell 15.4 per cent last year to 181,624 units, while Lexus sales dipped 2.7 per cent to 6347 units.