For the fiscal year ending in March, Toyota Motor Europe was able to reduce its operating loss even as sales dropped sharply. Toyota Europe cited its aggressive cost-cutting measures for this result. Its operating loss fell to 33 billion yen ($357 million) from having incurred a loss of 143.3 billion yen in its 2009 fiscal year.
For the past fiscal year, Toyota Europe sold 858,000 vehicles, standing for a 19.2% drop from the 1.06 million units sold in the 2009 fiscal year. The recalls of over 1.7 million cars that were announced in January had an impact on sales.
Included in the recalls were the top-selling Auris, Avensis, Aygo, Yaris and Prius model lines. In the last fiscal year, Europe was the region where Toyota lost the most sales, of about 204,000.
North America came in second, with sales dropping by 114,000 units. The drop in Russia's new-car sales last year has adversely affected sales of the Toyota and Lexus brands, which decreased by 63% to 75,131 units -- a loss of 129,631 sales.
Before this crisis, Toyota Europe was highly profitable. In its 2008 fiscal year, it posted a 141.5 billion yen operating profit. Toyota Europe spokeswoman did not speculate on whether the unit would be able to break even financially in the year ending in March 2011.
It should be noted that Toyota does not provide financial forecasts by region. For the current fiscal year, Toyota predicts flat sales of about 860,000 units in Europe, including Russia, Ukraine and Turkey.