Toyota back in black as sales recover
The company, which makes the Camry sedan and Prius hybrid, raised its full year earnings forecast yesterday and said it now expects to sell 7.38 million vehicles worldwide for the year through March 2011, up from 7.24 million the previous year. Previously it forecast sales of 7.29 million vehicles.
The numbers show that Toyota is on a recovery track from the sales battering it took from the global financial crisis two years ago and the blows to its image from massive recalls that began last October.
US-traded shares jumped $1.48, or about 2 percent, to $74.25 yesterday.
Toyota acknowledged uncertainties lie ahead, including the surging yen, but is expecting sales to expand in Asia, South America, and other markets.
Still, Toyota’s car sales remain far lower than the 9 million-plus vehicles it was selling globally while on its way to overtaking General Motors Co. as the world’s number one automaker.
At that time, an ambitious Toyota, which had appeared unstoppable as US rivals GM and Chrysler stumbled, had set a goal of reaching global sales of 10 million vehicles within several years.
Toyota’s revenue for the April-to-June quarter surged 27 percent to $57.3 billion as car sales jumped in North America, Japan, and other parts of Asia, including Thailand and Indonesia.
The only trouble spot was Europe, where auto sales were lagging partly because of concerns about Greece’s debt crisis.
Its quarterly profit of $2.2 billion was achieved despite worries that Toyota’s recalls of popular models would hurt sales.
Toyota said cost reductions of $588 million also helped its latest results, offsetting the damage from a stronger yen, estimated at $353 million.
The car maker raised its profit forecast for the year through March 2011 to $4 billion from $3.6 billion
It increased its annual sales revenue forecast to $229 billion from $226 billion.
Toyota had long been lauded for its high standard of quality. But it has recalled about 10 million vehicles since October for various problems, including faulty floor mats, sticky gas pedals, and steering malfunctions.