2011 disaster: Toyota is back

2012-06-15 09:58

TOKYO, Japan - Toyota's president Akio Toyoda has assured shareholders that the brand has recovered from 2011's quake disasters and expects to sell 8.7-million vehicles through 2012.

That despite the electrical power shortage that continues to dog his country.

The earthquake and tsunamis in north-eastern Japan and the flooding in Thailand in 2011 hobbled production for all Japanese automakers.

Toyoda told a packed hall at the automaker's HQ: "We were able to recover more quickly than we expected. We want to work to revive Japan and bring more smiles to Japan."


The automaker is projecting a strong turnaround and forecasting a profit equivalent to about R80-billion for the fiscal year through to March 2013. Net profit plunged 30% to about R30-billion for the business year ended March 2012.

Toyota is rolling out new models and aggressively remodelling its products to steer the turnaround and is looking to emerging markets for growth. The automaker is targetting 50% of its global vehicle sales in such countries by 2015 but faces an increasingly powerful Hyundai, a resurgent General Motors and VW - each hard to beat in key growth markets such as China.


Toyota's image suffered in North America through a series of recalls since 2009 and its US sales fell in 2011 but sales and market share in the US have recovered. The company expects to sell 8.7-million vehicles worldwide this fiscal year, up from 7.4-million in the year ended March 2012.

Toyoda, grandson of the automaker's founder, said he hoped the company would help in an overall 'Japan revival'. "Our spirit of never giving up means I want ours to be a company that keeps growing," he said.