Toyota Motor on Tuesday said it expects profit to drop 80% to its lowest in nine years, as Japan’s biggest automaker grapples with the impact of the novel coronavirus which has sapped global demand for vehicles.
Global automakers have begun to gradually resume operations factories after curbs on public movement prevented workers in many countries from commuting. But they face weak demand as job losses and concern about an economic downturn weigh on consumer spending.
“The coronavirus has dealt us a bigger shock than the 2008 global financial crisis,” Toyota President Akio Toyoda said at a live-streamed media briefing.
“We anticipate a big drop in sales volumes, but despite that we are expecting to remain in the black. We hope to become a leader of the country’s economic recovery.”
Toyota forecast an operating profit of 500 billion yen ($4.66 billion) for the year through March 2021, down 80% from 2.44 trillion yen in the year just ended. That would be its weakest profit since the 2011/12 financial year.