Tokyo: Mazda Motor Corp. sank to a loss for the fiscal year ended March, sharing the fate of other Japanese automakers battered by the global slump and strong yen.
Hiroshima-based Mazda, Japan’s fifth biggest automaker, reported on Tuesday a 71.5 billion yen ($732.6 million) loss for the fiscal year ended 31 March, as sales plunged 27% to 2.536 trillion yen.
A year earlier, Mazda, which makes the Miata roadster and RX-8 sports car, had reported a 91.8 billion yen profit.
Mazda said one-time losses related to the value of overseas affiliates and the release of deferred tax assets also contributed to the red ink.
Mazda said it expected to stay in the red for the fiscal year through March 2010 with a 50 billion yen loss on 2.030 trillion yen sales.
Mazda sold 1.26 million vehicles for the fiscal year ended March, but expects to sell fewer vehicles in the current year at 1.1 million vehicles.
Questions remain about the long run future for Mazda in a troubled industry where even bigger players like General Motors Corp. are teetering on the verge of bankruptcy.
Mazda had close ties with US carmaker Ford Motor Co, which helped turn around its business decades ago, sending executives and sharing technology and auto parts to cut costs.
But Ford said last year it would sell the majority of its 33.4% stake in the Japanese carmaker as the financial crisis and sliding demand began to hurt the bottom line of the world’s automakers.
Also Tuesday, Nissan Motor Co., Japan’s third biggest automaker, reported it sank into losses for the fiscal year ended March and said it will stay in the red this year.
Last week, Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest automaker, also reported a big annual loss. Honda Motor Co. has fared better by staying profitable.
Mazda shares slid 4.6% to 248 yen. Earnings were announced after trading ended on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.