Toyota's Gloomy New Forecast Cuts Annual Profits by More than Half

After losing the top spot as the world’s largest automaker, Toyota is now halving its profit forecast due to a number of factors, the most important of which are the production disruptions caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March and the recent floods in Thailand, as well as the strong yen. Toyota said that it expects to bring in a net profit of 180 billion Yen [US$2.3 billion] for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012, down 53.8 percent from the 390 billion yen [US$5.04 billion] it projected in August. The Japanese company also cut its sales forecast from an earlier prognosis issued in August of 7.6 million to 7.32 million for the fiscal year. Toyota said that the company lost some 230,000 cars globally from October to November due to the Thailand floods, but it expects that production will return to normal by the end of December.