By on August 6, 2020

An ongoing pandemic and serious North American sales hit weren’t enough to bring Toyota to a loss in the quarter ending June 30th.

The automaker posted its weakest fiscal first-quarter return in nearly a decade, but last quarter’s operating profit, despite plunging 98 percent on a year-over-year basis, still came out in positive territory. While the road ahead is rocky and paved with uncertainty, Toyota says it was surprised as how quickly it bounced back.

Reporting an operating profit of $132 million, Toyota’s revenues declined 40.4 percent in the quarter just ended. You’d have to go back to 2011, and the wake of Japan’s magnitude 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami, to find a Q1 with a balance sheet as weak as this one.

All told, the automaker’s salves were halved in Q1, with North American sales only 69 percent of normal. In the U.S., combined Toyota and Lexus sales fell 34.6 percent. This showing was actually better than Toyota predicted.

The same goes for its financial results, as the general expectation among analysts was a quarterly loss. Other major automakers dipped into the red last quarter.

“The pace of recovery in a number of regions has been faster than we had initially forecast,” a Toyota spokesman told Reuters.

“But the virus situation continues to place many uncertainties on the business outlook … and we see a possibility that our forecast could change.”

[Image: Toyota]

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8 Comments on “Toyota Maintains Black Ink in Last Quarter...”


  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    This is the clear sign that Toyota is the GM of the 21st century. In the old days, GM could be counted on to still make a profit in the deepest recessions. Now only Toyota can do that. Now they have to stay clear of the GM mistakes of the last 40 years.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Toyota wasn’t the only automaker to be in the black for the last Q; Hyundai was among them and they managed a good bit more profit than Toyota (despite not faring anywhere as well in China as Toyota).

      Toyota has managed to avoid many of the missteps that GM has made in the past, but one area where they seem to be following GM’s old bad habits is to develop their vehicles to be just good enough, but not class leading.

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        What current Toyota model are you currently lusting after?

        Exactly.

        • 0 avatar
          bkojote

          4runner, Tacoma, Land Cruiser.

          Hell even the Rav4 Prime looks pretty nice for what it is.

        • 0 avatar
          tomLU86

          Lorenzo beat me to it–this is one more sign that Toyota is the new GM.

          What Toyotas do I lust for? NONE.

          But does it matter? During my lifetime, Toyota has had flashes of brilliance, as far as exciting cars, but mostly they have been boring. But also reliable and good values.

          Now pretty much all cars are quite good, hence they are all similar and boring. But Toyota does “boring” just a little bit better than Honda (in decline), GM, Hyundai, or the Germans.

          Toyota competes in all segments well. Their business model does not depend on cheap, plentiful gasoline.

          Their hybrids appeal to many people for good reason.

          Henry Ford II said “we don’t make cars, we make money”. Toyota does that well.

          I’ve bashed a lot of their boring cars. For years I disliked Toyota, because their success was “dumbing down” the market for exciting cars.

          Well, mission accomplished. Toyota has succeeded. There are NO new cars that I “lust for”.

          In this enviroment, if I need a new car, I’d probably just go get a base Camry, like the one I rented last year.

          Toyota is the new GM, the Camry is the new Bel Air/Impala/Caprice sedan.

          And just like GM was careful not to overdo it in the 1960s, Toyota CHOOSES not to go all in to full size trucks and deliver the death blow to the Detroit Three

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Give me a Camry XSE V6 (sorry TRD model isn’t available with the features I want), Avalon TRD, Supra, or Land Cruiser.

            But the rest of Toyota’s lineup puts me to sleep.

  • avatar
    pveezy

    I was hoping that this supposed economic disaster we are living through would be a good time (like 2009) to replace my 2015 Camry with a new one… but it really is a different story. Talking to some Toyota sales people I know, apparently as soon as they were allowed to open their doors again the cars were flying off the lot. Demand coupled with the factory shutdowns slowing inventory mean this really isn’t a particularly good time to buy one. Maybe even worse than most summers. I’ve been driving past a few Toyota dealers and their lots are basically empty of new inventory.

  • avatar
    pveezy

    I was hoping that this supposed economic disaster we are living through would be a good time (like 2009) to replace my 2015 Camry with a new one… but it really is a different story. Talking to some Toyota sales people I know, apparently as soon as they were allowed to open their doors again the cars were flying off the lot. Demand coupled with the factory shutdowns slowing inventory mean this really isn’t a particularly good time to buy one. Maybe even worse than most summers. I’ve been driving past a few Toyota dealers and their lots are basically empty of new inventory.

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