Toyota has announced that its profit in the first quarter climbed 9% to 2.7 billion euros as it recorded its seventh straight year of record sales.
The Japanese carmaker beat General Motors in worldwide vehicle production and sales between January and March for the first time ever. Toyota sold 2.35 million vehicles worldwide in that period, better than GM’s 2.26 million. In the same time it produced almost 2.37 million vehicles against GM’s output of 2.34 million.
Toyota’s President Katsuaki Watanabe insisted that he is thinking about his own company rather than others. He said: “The important thing is to put the greatest effort into trying to sell cars.” Watanabe added: “We’re focusing on improving development and marketing. There’s plenty left for us to do.”
Toyota has managed to achieve buoyant sales in Europe and the US where it has steadily improved market share over local carmakers. It has ensured growth by spending on new factories, added capacity and research and development, though that has limited its profit. Indeed the company is forecasting its smallest profit increase in a decade due to slowing growth in the US and money being spent on new plants particularly in developing markets – China, Russia and India.