After dealing with floods, earthquakes and a super-strong yen, Toyota Motor Corp. is following a fourth quarter in which income quadrupled with a similarly optimistic forecast for 2013.
The Japanese car company, which last year relinquished the title of world’s largest automaker to General Motors Co., said it earned 121 billion yen, or $1.52 billion, in the quarter ended March 31. That’s compared with the 25.4-billion yen profit recorded during the same quarter a year earlier.
And to Chief Executive Akio Toyoda, the future looks good too.
The past few years brought an “extremely challenging” business environment, he said, including a devastating tsunami and earthquake to Japan, floods in Thailand that disrupted the supply chain, unfavorable exchange rates and a series of product recalls and quality-control concerns.
As a result, income during the last fiscal year slumped 30.5% to 283.6 billion yen, or $3.6 billion.
But for the current fiscal year, Toyota is predicting that its profit will more than double to 760 billion yen, or $9.5 billion. The Camry and Prius maker, which has boosted its post-earthquake production levels, expects revenue to soar 18.4% to 22 trillion yen after slumping 2.2% this past year to 18.6 trillion yen.
Toyota also expects to sell 8.7-million vehicles this fiscal year – more than 1.3-million autos above last year’s number, due in part to planned changes in Toyota and Lexus cars and new launches such as the electric RAV4.
In North America, vehicle sales for the most recent fiscal year slumped 159,000 units to under 1.9-million autos.
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