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Toyota Dodges Weakening Vehicle Demand, Posts Increased Sales

Feb. 6, 2020
The Japanese carmaker evaded the demand slowdown impacting GM and Ford sales, reporting increased sales in December 2019.

Toyota Motor Corporation was unruffled by dodgy demand impacting GM and Ford earnings as it reported an increase in sales over the past nine months in all but one of its operating regions.

Sales decreased in Asia, excluding Japan, by 40,098 units; increased in North America by 22,263 units; increased in Europe by 45,129 units; increased in Japan by 60,905 units. Sales in other global regions, cumulatively, increased by 41,028 units.

Operating income excluding valuation changes from interest rate swaps coming out of Japan and Asia fell, but increased in North America and Europe. Japan remains the strongest source of operating income for Toyota, generating the equivalent of $11.23 billion.

At least part of Toyota’s successfully slim operations appear to be borne by its suppliers, Denso Corp. and Aisin Seiki Co., judging from comments made by Toyota’s operating officer in charge of purchasing. In remarks to reporters, Masayoshi Shirayanagi said his suppliers were confronting “a very severe situation” and had “expressed some unhappiness with Toyota,” Bloomberg News reported. He said Toyota was working with suppliers to ease up on burdensome or unnecessary standards.

Toyota did not adjust its sales forecast for financial year 2020, which for Toyota will end March 31. Displaying optimism, the company raised its profit expectations for 2020 about a billion dollars: to 2.5 trillion yen from 2.4 trillion yen, or to $22.79 billion from $21.87 billion. That’s despite risk to Toyota’s Chinese production, which has already been shut down through February 9 at least. 

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