Toyota's profits for its fiscal fourth quarter may be disappointing, but the automaker is likely to release even less promising figures for the first 6 months of 2011. This is because Toyota is still struggling through supply issues, with many plants running at only 50% capacity, if they're running at all. Further, Toyota says that dealers in the U.S. and China are likely to see less products in the coming months, which could lead to much lower revenue. On a brighter note, Toyota now says that production should ramp up to 70% of capacity by June, up from previous estimates of July or August. That should help get Toyota back on its feet faster, which is good for employment as well.
For the whole fiscal year, Toyota earned US$5.9 billion or nearly three times the profit of fiscal year 2009. Revenue was also up by 0.2% to $237 billion on sales of 7.3 million vehicles, up by 71,000 units as compared to 2009. The outlook for Toyota doesn’t look so bleak after all. The tsunami is only a temporary setback for Toyota but in my opinion, the rise of the Korean tide may prove to be much more damaging.