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Toyota’s quarterly auto sales sag on computer chips crunch

TOKYO (AP) – Toyota’s profit slipped nearly six per cent 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 totalled JPY791.7 billion (USD6.9 billion), down from JPY838.7 billion the previous year.

Quarterly sales slipped five per cent to JPY7.2 trillion (USD63 billion).

Toyota officials acknowledged the chips problem could continue through next fiscal year.

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.

The logo of Japan’s Toyota Motor is displayed at a dealership in Tokyo. PHOTO: AFP

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 JPY2.49 trillion (USD21.7 billion).

Toyota recorded a JPY2.2 trillion profit the previous fiscal year.

Toyota said a favourable exchange had worked as a plus for its latest earnings, while cost reduction efforts and marketing costs dragged on profitability.

The company apologised for the production delays caused by the shortage of chips and other parts because of production snags caused by COVID-19 measures.

“We apologise for the inconvenience caused to customers who have to wait a long time until delivery, but we will continue to make improvements through ‘All-Toyota’ together with our dealers and suppliers,” it said in a statement.


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