As these Japanese carmakers are experiencing higher demand and have been successful at cutting costs, Suzuki Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. both raised their annual profit forecasts.
Automakers all around the globe have cut fixed costs and boosted production efficiencies to cope with the global economic slowdown. Government incentives also boosted the sales of fuel-efficient cars.
Suzuki, owned 19.9% by Volkswagen AG due to a deal made in December, has profited from strong sales in India's fast-growing market, where it is the top player through subsidiary Maruti Suzuki.
For the entire year of 2010 to March, Suzuki raised its operating profit outlook to 50 billion yen ($558.2 million) from 40 billion yen. However, this figure falls short of the consensus of 66 billion yen from 14 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S/.
A Suzuki spokesman said that the company has a very cautious outlook for the January-March quarter due to concerns related to the yen rate and an unclear economic outlook."
The spokesman added that it considers the heavy reliance on India's market as a risk. Suzuki, which sells the popular Swift and Alto hatchback cars, reported a 17.99 billion yen ($201 million) operating profit for October-December, compared with a 5.78 billion yen profit a year earlier. This is actually roughly in line with market expectations.