One would think that with all the recalls, Toyota would be looking at a hefty loss for fiscal 2009, which ended on March 2010. Toyota itself thought the same. Well, not hefty, but last projections saw a loss in the neighborhood of $200m. A loss is a loss, and it would have been the 3rd lost year in a row. Toyota bean counters went over the books with a fine tooth comb. And guess what they found?
A likely profit of around $500m! “Cost reductions and a weaker yen staved off another year in the red,” reports The Nikkei [sub]. The full whammy of recall costs will hit this fiscal anyway, so it is doubly good that half a billion dollars were found. This way, if or when they write a loss in the current 2010 fiscal, nobody can say that Toyota “lost money for the fourth year in a row.” That would be devastating for the all-important hyo-ban (reputation) of Toyota and Toyoda. The yen, which had been frighteningly strong for most of the year, lost some of its strength just in time for the end of the fiscal year, only to get stronger again. Looks like someone helped out the hyo-ban of the whole Japanese export industry. Doesn’t change the facts much, but appearances are everything.