2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:36
Toyota has defended its title as the world's largest automaker. Even if the lead over Volkswagen has melted, the Japanese see this year as a “turning point” for the group.
The Japanese auto giant Toyota is resuming its global expansion course in a race with its rival Volkswagen and aims to exceed last year's record profit this year. As the world's largest automaker in terms of sales announced on Friday, operating profit rose by 20 percent to a record of 2.75 trillion yen (20 billion euros) as of March 31, thanks to the weak yen. The favorable exchange rate and cost savings would have made up for declining sales.
Toyota sets company record in Japan
The bottom line was that profits rose by 19.2 percent as of March 31, to a record of around 2.2 trillion yen. This makes Toyota the first company in the country to surpass the two trillion yen mark in profits. Sales rose six percent at Toyota to 27.2 trillion yen. For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016, the group expects a further slight increase in operating profit to 2.8 trillion yen.
In the past calendar year, Toyota was able to defend its title as the largest automaker worldwide for the third time in a row, despite its stronger focus on profitability. With 10.23 million vehicles sold, the lead on VW melted to 90,000 units. VW wants to have completed the role reversal by 2018 at the latest.
The Japanese sold 2.52 million vehicles in the first quarter of this year, 2.5 percent less than a year ago. But this was still 30,000 pieces or 1.2 percent more than the competitor such as Wolfsburg. In view of the declining sales figures, Toyota is thinning out its dealer network in Germany.
Toyota resumes expansion course
In the Japanese home market, too, the group is struggling with significant sales losses as a result of a VAT increase last year. The number of cars delivered fell by 211,000 to 2.15 million in the past fiscal year.
Against this background, Toyota is now resuming its global expansion course after a break of several years in order to secure its leading role. While Toyota had recently focused on increasing productivity, new plants are now being built again. To this end, the Japanese are investing around 1.4 billion euros in Mexico and China. With the additional plants, the production capacity is to be increased by 300,000 cars by 2019.
2015 “turning point” for Toyota
This year will represent an important "turning point" for the group, said Toyota boss Akio Toyoda on Friday when the balance sheet was presented. It will show whether “we are moving towards sustainable growth” or whether the “efforts made so far” have been in vain.
The group, which also includes commercial vehicle manufacturer Hino Motors and small car maker Daihatsu, sold 10.17 million vehicles worldwide in the fiscal year ended March 31, surpassing the 10 million mark for the second year in a row. In the current fiscal year, Toyota is aiming for global sales of 10.15 million cars.
Toyoda promised that the auto giant would reward shareholders by giving Toyota "stable and sustainable" dividends and considering "flexible" share buybacks. The share rose by 9.5 percent in the year to date. (dpa)
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