The world's number one automobile manufacturer Toyota significantly strengthened its annual forecasts on Wednesday thanks to the weakness of the yen, after seeing its results jump in the second quarter thanks to record sales and improved production conditions. Toyota achieved a turbocharged first half, driven by strong demand particularly in Japan, North America and Europe, after having suffered last year like the entire automotive sector from the shortage of semiconductors and disruptions in supply chains.
The group announced on Monday that it had achieved record sales in volume between April and September, with 5.6 million vehicles sold (including its other brands Daihatsu and Hino). Made even more confident for the entire 2023/24 financial year which will end at the end of March, Toyota is now counting on a net profit of 3,950 billion yen (24.7 billion euros) instead of 2,580 billion yen during from its latest forecast in May, a jump of 61% over one year.
It forecasts an operating profit of 4,500 billion yen (28.1 billion euros) compared to 3,000 billion yen until then, which would be an increase of 65.1%, attributing this massive improvement in its objectives to effects of exchange rate against a backdrop of a plunge in the yen. Its forecasts are now calculated on an exchange rate of 141 yen per dollar, compared to 125 yen previously.
Toyota now expects turnover to increase by 16% over one year to 43,000 billion yen (269 billion euros), instead of 38,000 billion yen previously. Its volume sales target for 2023/24 remained unchanged at 11.38 million vehicles, which would be a record and an increase of 7.8% year-on-year. “The group should reach or even exceed its production target,” commented Satoru Takada of TIW, interviewed by AFP ahead of the results, noting that “Toyota's production has been very strong, very regular.”
Its situation is less favorable in the Chinese market, where the Japanese group saw its results plummet in the first half, citing fluctuations in exchange rates and an increase in its selling costs. In China, “we have entered into very strong competition in terms of prices and rebates, and we see that there is also strong competition for the prices of electric vehicles,” said the group's financial director Yoichi Miyazaki on Wednesday. of a press conference.
Japanese manufacturers are generally suffering in China, where their sales fell by 19% in volume over the first nine months of 2023, while those of Chinese brands jumped by 20% over the same period, according to the specialist site Marklines. On a global scale, the Chinese BYD sold almost as many vehicles between July and September as Nissan, reported the daily Nikkei. Mitsubishi Motors, an ally of Renault and Nissan, completely threw in the towel last week by renouncing its production in China, which it had already suspended since March.
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After a late start in the electric vehicle sector, Toyota is also trying to catch up with current leaders in the sector such as BYD and the American Tesla. It announced on Tuesday an additional investment of $8 billion in its battery factory under construction in North Carolina (southeastern United States), which will supply batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles. Toyota also entered into a collaboration last month with Japanese energy giant Idemitsu Kosan to mass produce solid-state batteries for electric vehicles.
In the second quarter (July-September), Toyota saw its net profit almost triple to 1,278 billion yen (8 billion euros) and its operating profit more than double to 1,438.4 billion yen (9 billion euros). . Its sales jumped 24% to 11,434.8 billion yen (71.5 billion euros). Toyota also announced on Wednesday a buyback of its own shares for a maximum amount of 100 billion yen (625 million euros). Investors on the Tokyo Stock Exchange welcomed the group's announcements, whose shares closed Wednesday up 4.71%.