Filed under: China , Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota , Earnings/Financials With the April 15 tax deadline just a few months away, our US readers will be faced with a decision should they get a refund: save or spend? It seems this issue is one many of us face whenever there’s a windfall, trying to decide whether we should set the money aside in an account of some sort or use it as a down payment on a new car or a trip to the Apple store. Unsurprisingly, major corporations face a similar, albeit more complex, issue. Take Toyota , for example. With President Akio Toyoda at the helm, the Japanese manufacturer has gracefully weathered recalls and natural disasters, all while turning beaucoup profits. Last quarter, profits quintupled to 434.4-billion yen ($4.3-billion USD), according to Bloomberg . Toyota also upped its forecast for the end of fiscal year 2013 (which ends on March 31 for Japan), to a record 1.9-trillion yen (about $18.8 billion). Now, the Japanese brand is reportedly sitting on a cash pile of nearly $40 billion, leaving Toyoda-san in an envious predicament – what should the company do with all that money? Some think Toyota should be doing something, anything with that big stack of cash. Some think Toyota (and Toyoda) should be doing something, anything with that big stack of cash.
Filed under: GM , Toyota , Volkswagen , Earnings/Financials Toyota is the top-selling automaker in the world. Again. Still. With total reported sales, including those from subsidiaries, of 9.98 million in 2013, Toyota’s performance was enough to outpace rival General Motors by around 270,000 vehicles. That’s a 2.4-percent gain over 2012, and it makes Toyota the top-seller two years in a row. Still, the gap between the top three is shrinking – Toyota held a 460,000-unit lead in 2012. GM sold 9.71 million vehicles last year, a four-percent increase, coming in second place ahead of Volkswagen , which sold around 9.5 million. According to Bloomberg , Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda said his company managed to win the sales race while also remaining more profitable than GM or VW. It’s going to be another interesting year in 2014 as the three behemoth automakers vie for the title of World’s Largest. Toyota has predicted that it will increase sales in 2014 to 10.32 million – which would make Toyota the first automaker ever to surpass 10 million global sales – though General Motors and VW are expected to again fight for the lead in the massive Chinese market.
Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota , Earnings/Financials , South America With uncertainty in the US and Chinese markets, automakers are scrambling to rev up their efforts in what were traditionally secondary markets. Take Toyota’s efforts in Latin America. A recent story from The Wall Street Journal highlights the Japanese brand’s push in the southern hemisphere, particularly in Brazil, where it has expanded its operations and installed new executives with a greater range of powers, all in a bid to grab a bigger slice of the ever-growing South American pie. South America is dominated by General Motors , Fiat and Volkswagen , which maintain a combined 60 percent of the market share – Toyota holds a mere 4.5 percent. The WSJ spoke with Steve St. Angelo, Toyota’s boss in Latin America, who said, “We are playing catch up, but we’re catching up fast. We now have the resources to give the region the attention it really needs and deserves.” That attention includes an all-new, locally produced small car called the Etios. As bewildering as it seems, Toyota wasn’t competing in the low-cost economy car market in South America. With the Etios , which arrived in September of 2012, its sales in the first seven months of 2013 are up 75 percent. Toyota is also expanding on its local infrastructure, which includes the $600 million Sorocabo factory, located near S
Filed under: Car Buying , Plants/Manufacturing , GM , Toyota , Volkswagen Toyota still holds the title of World’s Largest Automaker. The Japanese automaker ceded the claim to General Motors in 2011 following a series of natural and man-made disasters that stifled production in Asia. Production is back up to full speed and, coupled with the introduction of a new Camry midsize sedan, Toyota retook the title in 2012 and has so far been able to keep it by selling 2.43 million vehicles in the first quarter of 2013. The race is still tight – General Motors reports sales of 2.36 million vehicles, earning it the second spot globally with Volkswagen’s 2.27 million sales nabbing the German automaker third place. It’s not all smooth sailing for Toyota, either, as the brand’s first-quarter figures were down 2.2 percent when compared to last year. GM posted a 3.6-percent gain and VW managed a 5.1-percent gain over the same period. Sales in China may be a deciding factor as to which automaker performs best in 2013. Toyota’s figures were down 13 percent in China. Meanwhile, GM and VW are continuing their upward trajectories in the crucial Chinese market. As ever, each of the automakers says publicly it doesn’t care much about the title.
Filed under: Car Buying , China , Chevrolet , Ford , GM , Honda , Nissan , Toyota American automakers that conduct business in China have benefited from growing anti-Japanese sentiments among Chinese buyers, as most recent sales numbers indicate. According to Automotive News , a territorial dispute over uninhabited islands have resulted in Chinese consumers rejecting vehicles from Toyota , Honda and Nissan in increasing numbers. Meanwhile, sales of General Motors cars and minivans in its largest market grew 14 percent in October, to 251,812. Ford moved 60,518 units in China, representing a 48-percent increase in sales compared to the same month a year ago. Meanwhile, Toyota, Honda and Nissan sales have all taken nosedives. Toyota reported that its sales fell 44 percent last month, following a 49-percent drop in September. The latter two companies both announced their worst month-to-month decline in sales, dating back to 2007 for Honda and 2008 for Nissan. Still yet to be announced are Volkswagen sales in China. The German automaker has been battling GM for the top sales spot in China this year, and it outsold GM last quarter for the first time in eight years. When we last checked in on the two companies, GM had a slight year-to-date lead of 77,000 units.
Filed under: China , Japan , Honda , Nissan , Toyota , Earnings/Financials Automotive News reports Japanese manufacturers are set to cut production in China by half. Toyota , Nissan and Honda have seen sales fall off by steep margins in the People’s Republic after a territorial dispute between Japan and China resulted in anti-Japanese protests. Sales of Japanese goods have declined amid calls for boycotts all over China. As a result, Nissan is currently planning to halt the night shift at its two Chinese facilities. Toyota and Honda, meanwhile, will reduce production by cutting back work hours and slowing production lines. The news comes courtesy of a report in the Nikkei newspaper, but has not been confirmed by the manufacturers themselves. There’s no indication as to how long the cut in production will last. As Automotive News points out, Japanese manufacturers were already scaling back production to meet demand before the protests broke out. The Chinese economy is currently in its slowest period of growth in the past three years. Even so, the shift away from Japanese vehicles has seen Hyundai sales jump by 15 percent last month.
Filed under: China , Government/Legal , Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Honda , Mazda , Toyota