Just days after assuring its North American production was back on track to keep franchised dealers with ample supply of new models, Toyota Motor Co. acknowledged a downgrade for its projected 2012 financial performance.
Toyota dropped its profit forecast 54 percent after Thailand’s worst floods in almost 70 years disrupted output of Camry and Prius models.
The automaker thinks net income will fall 56 percent to 180 billion yen, which equals $2.3 billion, in the 12 months ending March 31.
That figure is less than half the profit projected by the average of 21 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
The company also cut predictions for operating profit and sales. Toyota indicated in a statement that it expects to sell 7.38 million units worldwide during this fiscal year.
Of that amount, Toyota believes it will sell 1.9 million units in North America.
Previously, the OEM thought it would move 7.6 million models globally with 1.930 million deriving from North America.
Toyota conceded the Thai floods will cut earnings by 120 billion yen, more than 40 percent of the estimated losses from Japan’s earthquake in March.
“The full-year consolidated and unconsolidated financial forecasts for fiscal year 2012 were tentatively undecided because we could not make reasonable forecasts due to the effects of the 2011 floods in Thailand,” automaker officials explained.
“Based on information available at the moment and our current estimations, we now amend our forecasts,” Toyota leaders went on to say.
Satoru Takada, a Tokyo-based auto analyst at TIW, told Bloomberg, “It looks like Toyota’s recovery is going to be tougher and take longer than expected.
“With the strong yen weighing heavily, it’s looking increasingly difficult for Toyota to make its comeback,” Takada added.
Bloomberg’s report also indicated Toyota is likely to give up its three-year reign as the world’s biggest automaker to General Motors.
Published last week by Auto Remarketing while the OEM gave another production update, Toyota declared that its U.S. inventories continue to improve with dealer stock increasing by 30,000 units last month.
OEM officials also believed there is “a good supply of vehicles available.
“Toyota thanks its customers, dealers and suppliers for their patience and cooperation throughout the recovery process,” they added.
Toyota said it does not anticipate any further North American production issues due to the flooding in Thailand. As a result, its North American plants will continue operating on a normal production schedule with planned overtime and Saturday production.
The automaker stressed that it will continue to monitor the situation closely, but it anticipates no further announcements on this issue in North America.