Toyota, Nissan announce record sales for 2012
TOKYO, Japan - Toyota and Nissan on Monday, January 28, posted record sales for 2012 as the Japanese car giants benefited from a pick-up in demand, with Toyota recapturing the world's biggest automaker crown from General Motors.
Toyota said sales last year soared 22.6% to 9.75 million vehicles, while Nissan saw a 5.8% on-year rise to 4.94 million units.
The figures confirmed that Toyota regained the global sales crown lost to US-based GM in 2011 as the March 11 Japanese tsunami hammered demand and production.
Robust Asian sales and a pick-up in North America helped drive sales, offsetting weak demand in Europe and the effects of Tokyo's diplomatic row with Beijing, which sparked a Chinese consumer boycott of Japanese goods in the latter part of the year.
In November, Toyota hiked its profit forecast to 780 billion yen ($8.57 billion) for the fiscal year to March, up from 760 billion yen, but said sales would be 21.3 trillion yen, trimming an earlier target of 22 trillion yen.
Nissan, part-owned by France's Renault, warned net profit for the fiscal year would be 320 billion yen, down 20% from its earlier estimate of 400 billion yen, citing its heavy exposure to the Chinese market.
A strong yen and uncertainty in China and Europe have weighed on Japan's automakers, with Toyota crediting its rosier profit outlook to cost-cutting, including a decrease in labour, research and development expenses. - Rappler.com