Toyota Profits Hit Pothole

by Chris Sturr | December 22, 2008

Toyota expects to report its first operating loss in 70 years. The company announced that it will likely post a loss of $1.7 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31. For the previous year, the company reported an operating profit of $28 billion.

The company expects next year’s outlook to be even grimmer. November U.S. sales plunged 33.9%, still better than GM’s 41% decline.

The company has seen its sales plummet not only in the United States, its largest market, but also in China and India.

With little debt and $18.5 billion in reserves, Toyota is in much better shape than its American rivals. However, the company’s decline, as well as those of other carmakers and electronics companies, has shaken Japan’s heavily export-dependent economy. Japan’s finance minister reported on Monday that the country’s exports 26.7% in November, the largest recorded drop since 1980 when statistics were first collected.

More from the New York Times here.

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