TOyota Motor used the aura crisis and positioned itself more efficiently than before. The world’s largest automaker posted a record surplus of 897.8 billion yen (6.9 billion euros) for the first quarter of its fiscal year on Wednesday.
However, Toyota, as cautious as ever, maintained its full-year business outlook. The company described the coronavirus pandemic, the global shortage of semiconductors and rising material costs as reasons for caution.
Earn more per car
Compared to the same quarter a year earlier, Toyota sold more cars in the April-June period, which increased sales and profits. This is not surprising, given that business was almost completely halted a year ago as a result of the shutdowns in the United States and Europe.
The comparison with the quarter two years ago, when no one in the world thought about the coronavirus, was more relevant. In this comparison, the good financial result is not based on car sales, which at 2.15 million units is still down from 2.32 million two years ago. Instead, it is critical that Toyota operate more efficiently than it did before the crisis. Operating margin increased 12.6%, or 3 percentage points, from the same quarter two years ago. In other words, Toyota sold fewer cars, but made more profit with each car than before.
Sales amounted to 7935.5 billion yen (about 61 billion euros) in the quarter that just ended. Operating profit rose to 997.4 billion yen (about 7.7 billion euros).
Better than other automakers, Toyota has insulated itself from the consequences of a global semiconductor shortage through stockpiling, among other things with suppliers. But even Toyota will not pass this crisis without a trace. The company halted some production lines in Japan this week due to the loss of microchips.
Toyota indicated that the proportion of electrified vehicles in sales is steadily increasing. In the same quarter two years ago the stake was 20 percent, most recently 26.6 percent, or 677,000 units.
The company is under fire, especially in Germany, for lagging behind the trend toward battery electric vehicles. The lion’s share of electrified vehicles sold by Toyota are hybrid-powered cars that have an internal combustion engine and an electric motor on board. Toyota sold only 3,000 battery electric vehicles and 2,000 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
Toyota is resisting criticism that customers are asking for more hybrids and are adapting to customers’ desires. With a fuel cell vehicle showcasing, the company also has another eco-friendly mobility option on hand, should the trend toward battery electric vehicles break.
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