Toyota to post first North America loss: Report

Toyota to post first North America loss: Report

Tokyo: Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp. will post its first ever operating loss in North America in the six months through September as demand slumps in the world’s largest economy, reports said on Friday.

The reports on the auto giant come a day after another iconic Japanese company, Sony Corp., issued a bleak profit warning due to the global slowdown and tough competition, contributing to a sharp fall on Tokyo’s stock market.

Japan’s Jiji Press said Toyota would post an operating loss of several hundred million dollars in the first half of the financial year for North America, its first since entering the market in the 1980s.

Toyota had enjoyed brisk sales and profits in the United States as strong interest in its fuel-efficient vehicles put it on course to overtake ailing General Motors as the world’s top-selling automaker.

But Toyota’s US sales dropped 29.5% in September as the US economy reels from a financial crisis.

Jiji Press and the Mainichi Shimbun, quoting unnamed company sources, said that Toyota would still remain in the black on a net level in North America for the first half due to sales of financial products.

Toyota had no immediate comment on the reports. It will announce its global earnings for the first half on 6 November.

An earlier news report said that Toyota’s profits would plunge on a global scale in the first half and that annual sales were on the road to falling for the first time in a decade.