Consolidated vehicle sales for the first quarter totalled 2,215,111 units, an increase of 42,452 units compared with the same period last fiscal year, according to the Group. On a consolidated basis, net revenues for the period totalled JPY7.0476 trillion (US$63.491 billion), a 7% increase. Operating income decreased from JPY642.2 billion (US$5.78 billion) to JPY574.2 billion (US$5.17 billion) while income before income taxes is reported to have stood at JPY679.3 billion (US$6.119 billion). Net income in the period increased from JPY552.4 billion (US$4.97 billion) to JPY613 billion (US$5.522 billion).

Toyota’s first-quarter decline came as Japanese carmakers race to adjust their passenger car-rich product mix to surging U.S. demand, SUVs and pickups. Higher marketing costs, including incentives, are said to have depressed operating profits by JPY30 billion (US$267 million), erasing cost cutting efforts, with exchange rate losses taking another JPY35 billion yen (US$311.6 million) off Toyota’s operating profit in the fiscal first quarter.

The Japanese carmaker said it aims to redouble its profit improvement measures while going on “the offensive” to invest in future technologies such as autonomous driving and artificial intelligence. “The speed of change is beyond our expectations. New competitors are emerging,” said Tetsuya Otake, Senior Managing Officer, Toyota Motors. “We have to find a new direction. And one of the directions is mergers and acquisitions.”

Toyota increased its outlook for the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2018 and cites better than expected impact from foreign exchange rate gains as the yen depreciates against the U.S. dollar, euro and other currencies. Operating profit is expected to decline 7.2% to JPY1.85 trillion (US$16.47 billion), while net income is expected to decline 4.4% to JPY1.75 trillion (US$15.58 billion).

Source: Autonews