Japanese carmaker Toyota Motor has projected that its global car sales will fall by 22pc from a year earlier to 7mn units during the April 2020-March 2021 fiscal year on expectations that the global car market will bottom out during April-June.
Toyota is among the global carmakers that have been forced to reduce car output in response to a worldwide slowdown in car sales triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. The company has resorted to cutting output at its domestic assembly plants for the first time since April.
The global car market hit a bottom in April, chief financial officer Kenta Kon said. Toyota expects the market to return to 2019-20 levels, before the Covid-19 pandemic, sometime between the end of 2020 and the first half of 2021, he said.
The company is unable to provide a regional breakdown of its forecast global car sales of 7mn units for 2020-21 because of the uncertain timing of demand recovery in different countries, Kon said.
Toyota today also projected that its 2020-21 operating profit would drop by 80pc on the year to ¥500bn ($4.7bn) but was unable to provide a net profit forecast because of uncertainty created by the Covid-19 outbreak. The company's 2019-20 net profit rose by 10pc to ¥2.1 trillion on consolidated vehicle sales totalling 9mn units, down slightly by 0.2pc from a year earlier.
Toyota's global car output dropped by 2pc on the year to around 8.7mn units in 2019-20. This included domestic car output of 3.3mn units, which were up by 3pc from a year earlier.
Output cuts by Japan's carmakers have dealt a blow to Japanese steel mills, forcing them to also reduce steel output. The country's two biggest steelmakers, Nippon Steel and JFE Steel, have announced temporary closures of blast furnaces in response to a fall in demand for steel materials. Nippon Steel has forecast that its steel output will remain low throughout July-September, after operating at around 60pc of total capacity during April-June.
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