Toyota has released its third-quarter sales report, which shows a number of gains thanks to increasing U.S. sales and the yen's declining value. When the third-quarter ended December 31, 2012 (the fiscal year ends in March) Toyota saw an overall profit of 99.9 billion yen (approximately 1.08 billion dollars).
The yen’s fluctuating value has long been an issue for Japanese automakers, and an Automotive News report notes the currency has declined 14 percent since November 13, 2012. Among the big three Japanese automakers, Toyota may benefit the most from a weakening yen since it produces more vehicles in Japan than Nissan and Honda. Additionally, sales in most global markets increased, including a 13.5 percent gain compared to the same period in 2011 when the automaker was still recovering from Japan’s natural disaster. As a result of more than $1 billion allotted for legal fees related to U.S. consumers who say their resale value dropped because of recalls, however, the company had a quarterly operating loss in North America.
Toyota also had positive results in its home country, where it earned a profit for a fourth straight quarter, despite a 5.1-percent decline in sales. Over in Europe, Toyota isn’t immune to the region’s struggling market; the automaker’s quarterly operating profit fell, and in China, Toyota’s overall sales during 2012 dropped 4.9 percent, marking it the first time Toyota sales have declined in the country in recent years.
Still, the third quarter report was enough reason for Toyota to increase its annual profit forecast (ending this March) by 10 percent to $9.3 billion dollars. It also has set a goal of 9.91 million units during 2013 after achieving a record high 9.75 million vehicles sold last year.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required), Toyota