If there’s anything Toyota execs can be happy about for the most recent quarter, it’s that for them it’s Q4, marking an end to what has been a troubling 12 months for the Japanese auto giant. Just released data shows Toyota Q4 profit fell off a cliff, dropping 77 percent to “just” $314 million. The decline comes as sales dropped 12 percent as a result of the recent earthquake and tsunami shuttered factories and disrupted parts supplies.
And yet as bad as things seem, Toyota isn’t tuning into a pre-bankruptcy General Motors – not yet anyway. New income for the fiscal year was actually up 95 percent, as sales increased, even if just by 0.2 percent. Operating profit tripled, despite the strong yen which is hurting overseas profits.
Low Q4 sales due to reduced output proved to be the largest factor affecting the slight increase, with sales for the quarter down 12 percent.
Year-end numbers have yet to be released, but Bloomberg estimates a 311 billion yet net income for the year, or just under $4 billion U.S. Toyota has said it will not issue an earnings forecast for the next fiscal year.
Toyota is working to restore output and is currently at 70 percent of pre-quake capacity.
With global sales of 8.4 million units last year, some estimates put total 2011 production at around 6.5 million units. Recently company execs admitted that Toyota will likely give up its spot as the world’s largest automaker, with General Motors set to reclaim the lead. If sales are limited to 6.5 million, Toyota could slip to third behind Volkswagen.