Toyota lifts forecast despite pandemic’s supply chain damage

Finance and Business

FILE – The company logo highlights the grille of a 2021 Tacoma pickup truck on display in the Toyota exhibit at the Denver auto show Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, at Elitch’s Gardens in downtown Denver. Japan’s top automaker Toyota reported Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, a 33% jump in second fiscal quarter profit, as it raised its full year forecast, despite supply chain woes related to the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s top automaker Toyota reported Thursday a 33% jump in second fiscal quarter profit, as it raised its full year forecast despite supply chain woes related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Toyota Motor Corp. recorded a 626.65 billion yen ($5.5 billion) profit for the July-September period, up from 470.5 billion yen the previous year. Quarterly sales rose 11% to 7.5 trillion yen ($66 billion).

Supply chain disruptions in computer chips caused by the pandemic’s impact have hurt all the world’s automakers. Toyota has also been forced to reduce production because of the problems.

Toyota officials said production was recovering, and the company was revving up to meet the strong demand for its models, including sport utility vehicles and other offerings with solid profit margins.

Toyota expects a profit of 2.49 trillion yen ($22 billion) for the fiscal year through March 2022, up 11% from 2.2 trillion yen the previous year.

The maker of the Prius hybrid, Camry sedan and Lexus luxury models had earlier expected a slightly lower 2.3 trillion yen ($20 billion) profit.

The cheap yen, which helps Japanese exporters like Toyota by raising the value of products sold overseas, boosted results, offsetting the damage from rising material costs.

Cost cuts also helped, as did the rising prices of used cars and the decline in incentives, according to Toyota.

But Toyota officials stressed they were not overly optimistic because the results would have been worse if it weren’t for the “tailwind” from the currency exchange perk.

Toyota, based in Toyota city in central Aichi prefecture, is expecting to sell 9.4 million vehicles for the full fiscal year, lower than an earlier projection given in May to sell 9.6 million vehicles, including Lexus models.

The challenge is keeping model prices down despite soaring raw material costs, even as increased investments are needed for developing technology on carbon neutrality, Chief Financial Officer Kenta Kon said.

Japanese rival Honda Motor Co. reports earnings Friday, while Nissan Motor Co. reports next week.

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Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

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