Toyota’s ascent to becoming the world’s biggest automaker isn’t a forgone conclusion, but don’t expect the company’s execs to be sweating. Sure, the latest data, released yesterday, show that GM has regained the lead over Toyota in the battle to be the world’s largest automaker. For the nine months through September, GM sold 7.06 million vehicles worldwide to Toyota’s 7.05 million.
And it wasn’t the only piece of downbeat sales news recently. In another sign of slowing U.S. auto sales, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.’s Bob Carter said on Oct. 19 that the company would cut annual its sales target for year from 2.68 million to 2.6 million units. “We now expect the U.S. car market to shrink slightly this year compared with year-ago, while Toyota continues to strive to meet its initial target,” told Wards.
But when it comes to perhaps the most important measure of corporate success—earnings—Toyota is peerless. Today’s Nihon Keizai, a Japanese business newspaper, reckons Toyota’s interim earnings for the six months ended Sept 30 will once again show stellar, record earnings and strong global sales.
While the company won’t post the figures for a couple of weeks, the Nikkei says it expects Toyota’s operating profit to rise roughly 10% to over $10.5 billion for the six months ended Sept. 30. Sales, meanwhile, are projected to have increased about 10% to nearly $113 billion, despite a prolonged slump in Japan where Toyota’s share exceeds 40%.