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Even Toyota gets the blues part IV

Posted by: David Welch on November 6, 2008

Here’s a post for the readers who work for the Big Three automakers and complain that Toyota’s bad news doesn’t make the press. It does. Toyota reported earnings for its second fiscal quarter of $1.4 billion, down more than 50% from the same time last year. And its forecast for this year says the company will make about $5.6 billion, a 68% drop from last year.

The bottom line: Toyota is taking it on the chin from the horrid U.S. car market and global economic downturn like everyone else. The company also got caught red-handed with an expansion into the truck and suv markets just before the fuel price spike of this past summer.

But let’s keep this grounded. Even with all of the economic turmoil, Toyota will still make big bucks. That’s because the company has strong brands and production that’s lined up closer with real demand than its U.S. rivals. Plus, Toyota has the balance sheet and control of its lending business to keep making car loans. Tough times? Yes. But give Toyota credit for being prepared.

Reader Comments

Jeff Humphreys

January 7, 2009 1:04 AM

I think "prepared" is too strong of descriptor. Toyota's sales have dropped 37% for the 2008 fiscal year. They are scrambling to address the ecomonic conditioins being experienced by all auto manufacturers and have annouced the closing of all of their plants in Japan for a 11 day period to cut costs and adjust to (a much lower) demand.

Toyota's sales have dropped more than Honda, GM or Ford.

Perhaps a more fitting term would be Toyota is weathering the storm (but are feeling the pain).

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Want the straight scoop on the auto industry? Our man in Detroit David Welch, brings keen observations and provocative perspective on the auto business.

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