Toyota’s quarterly auto sales sag on computer chips crunch
Toyota’s profit slipped nearly 6 percent last quarter, the Japanese automaker said yesterday, highlighting the headwinds automakers are facing in a computer chips crunch caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Toyota Motor Corp.’s profit for the three months through December totaled 791.7 billion yen ($6.9 billion), down from 838.7 billion yen the previous year. Quarterly sales slipped 5 percent to 7.2 trillion yen ($63 billion).
The Japanese auto giant, which kept its crown as the world’s top-selling carmaker in 2021, left its annual net profit outlook unchanged but slightly lowered its full-year vehicle sales and production targets.
Toyota sold 2.5 million vehicles around the world during the fiscal third quarter, down from 2.8 million vehicles the same period a year ago.
It lowered its fiscal year sales forecast to 8.25 million vehicles from an earlier 8.55 million vehicles.
Even the latest number is better than the 7.6 million vehicles Toyota sold last fiscal year, when sales were painfully battered by the pandemic.
When including group manufacturers such as Daihatsu, which makes small cars, and truck maker Hino, Toyota expects retail sales of 10.29 million vehicles for the fiscal year, up from 9.9 million vehicles the previous fiscal year.
The maker of the Camry sedan, Prius hybrid and Lexus luxury brand kept its fiscal year profit forecast unchanged at 2.49 trillion yen ($21.7 billion).
Toyota cited “operation instability” on a decision to slightly lower its production projection for the year to 8.5 million units from nine million, having already reduced it from 9.3 million in November.
“Currently, customers have to wait for a very long time to receive our products,” Toyota acknowledged.
Smaller rival Honda’s profit dropped 32 percent in the last quarter as rising material costs and a shortage of computer chips hurt the Japanese automaker.
Its profit for the three months through December totaled 192.9 billion yen ($1.7 billion), down from 284 billion yen the year before, the Tokyo-based company said yesterday. Quarterly sales slipped 2 percent to 3.7 trillion yen ($32 billion).