Japan’s Toyota posts record profit as hybrid sales surge 31 percent | Automotive Industry


Japanese car giant says net profit reached 4.94 trillion yen ($31.9bn) in the year to March.

Toyota has reported record profit and sales figures on the back of the weak yen and strong demand for hybrid vehicles.

The Japanese car giant said on Wednesday that it netted a record profit of 4.94 trillion yen ($31.9bn) in the year to March on revenues of 45.1 trillion yen, double the previous year’s income.

Global sales topped 10.3 million units, an all-time high, buoyed by strong demand in the home market and in North America and Europe.

Sales of hybrid vehicles jumped 31 percent to 3.7 million units.

The financial results far exceeded a company forecast in February of a 4.5 trillion yen net profit on revenues of 43.5 trillion yen.

Toyota offered a more sober outlook for the current year, estimating profit would fall nearly 28 percent due to increased investment.

The carmaker aims to sell 10.95 million vehicles worldwide this year, down 1.3 percent from 2023.

“We’ll make investments in order to firmly protect the supply chain from a perspective of sustainable growth,” Toyota CEO Koji Sato said at a news conference after the release of the results.

“The latest results show that our efforts have borne fruit, but we need [to] keep growing with the vision to become a mobility company,” Sato added.

While Toyota blazed a trail in the hybrid space with the release of the Prius in 1997, it has faced criticism for being slow to embrace fully electric cars.

Toyota sold just 116,500 fully electric vehicles in 2023, while China’s BYD and Tesla shifted about 1.6 million and 1.8 million, respectively.

Nevertheless, Toyota’s hybrid-first strategy has paid dividends over the last year amid falling demand for electric vehicles in the United States and Europe.

Despite falling behind Tesla and BYD in the electric vehicles space, Toyota, which offers more than two dozen hybrid models, has held the title of the world’s largest automaker by sales for four straight years.

In January, Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda expressed scepticism that battery electric vehicles would ever dominate the market, predicting they would peak at about 30 percent of sales.

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