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Toyota’s Quarterly Profit Improves on Strong Sales

Toyota and Mazda Motor Corp. are set to announce later today a partnership


TOKYO (AP) – Toyota Motor Corp. reported Friday that its fiscal first quarter profit rose 11 percent as sales improved around the world, including in the U.S., Europe and Japan.

Toyota’s April-June profit of 613.0 billion yen ($5.6 billion), up from 552.4 billion yen a year earlier. Quarterly sales rose 7 percent to 7.05 trillion yen ($64 billion).

Toyota, which makes the Prius hybrid, Camry sedan and Lexus luxury models, sold 2.2 million vehicles for the quarter, an improvement of 42,000 vehicles on-year.

Toyota and Mazda Motor Corp. are set to announce later Friday a partnership, according to a source familiar with the matter. The deal is expected to involve a joint-venture auto manufacturing plant in the U.S., working together on green technology and a capital alliance.

The official agreement builds on a Toyota-Mazda courtship that began years ago with the licensing of a hybrid powertrain to Mazda for use in its Japanese-market 3, a.k.a. the Axela, and continued with Mazda’s donation of the next-generation Mazda 2‘s platform and engines—and Mexican manufacturing facility—to Toyota.

Before now a joint committee was set up to evaluate how best to utilize each company’s respective strengths. Those familiar with the deal told Moov LogisticsNews that Toyota will mine Mazda’s expertise in lightweight design, fuel-efficient Skyactiv gas and diesel engines, and chassis tuning, while Mazda will pilfer hybrid and fuel-cell tech, manufacturing expertise, and perhaps some R&D dollars.

Expenses for marketing and investments in cost cutting efforts weighed on Toyota’s quarterly profits, said the company’s senior managing officer, Tetsuya Otake.

Toyota raised its fiscal full year profit forecast through March 2018 to 1.75 trillion yen ($16 billion), higher than its earlier forecast of 1.5 trillion yen ($14 billion).

Like other Japanese exporters, Toyota is enjoying the benefits of a yen that has stayed cheaper than previously expected. But the revised forecast is still lower than the 1.8 trillion yen earned in the previous fiscal year.

Toyota, which has been vying against the Japan-France alliance of Nissan-Renault, Volkswagen AG of Germany and U.S. manufacturer General Motors Co. for the spot of world’s No. 1 automaker, stuck to its earlier projection for global vehicle sales for the fiscal year at 10.25 million vehicles.


With additional reports from Tola Ojoba

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