Matt O'Sullivan June 21, 2012
Toyota Australia’s annual losses have more than doubled to $32.6 million, which the local car manufacturer has blamed on a $1 billion fall in sales due to the Japanese earthquake and floods in Thailand last year.
The car company said today that revenues had fallen by $1.02 billion to $7.25 billion for the year to March, while the sale of Toyota and Lexus vehicles in Australia had dropped by just over 30,000 to 187,328.
The Toyota subsidiary’s losses widened to $32.6 million for the full year, from $13.2 million in the red a year earlier. It is the car maker’s third successive annual loss.
The release today of Toyota’s full-year result comes just five months after it announced that it would axe 350 jobs at its Altona North factory in Melbourne.
Toyota Australia’s boss, Max Yasuda, said today that the profit slump was further evidence of the need for it to ‘‘change the way it does business if it wants to strengthen its operations in Australia’’.
“We have had to make immediate change during recent months and adjust our manufacturing workforce,’’ he said in a statement. ‘‘There are things we can do to make Toyota Australia leaner.’’
The car company, which employs 4200 people in Australia, blamed the slump in annual sales on the ‘‘unprecedented impact’’ of the Japanese earthquake in March last year and the flooding in Thailand in October, both of which had limited the supply of vehicles and parts for much of 2011.
Toyota makes its popular HiLux in Thailand.
“It has been a very tough time for Toyota globally during the past year,” Mr Yasuda said. “The natural disasters had an unprecedented effect on the company in terms of production volume and reduced sales.’’
Mr Yasuda said Toyota also had to cope with ‘‘intense market competition, currency impacts and the cost of raw materials’’.
Toyota produced almost 94,000 vehicles at its one Australian plant in the year to March, compared with 113,333 previously.
Its widening losses come just a month after Ford’s Australian operations posted a $290 million annual loss, despite $102 million of state and federal government support last year.
But Holden defied the trend last month when it announced an annual profit of $89.7 million.
Toyota has received $63 million in funding from the federal government and an undisclosed sum from the Victorian government for a new engine plant at its Altona North site, which will open at the end of the year.
A spokeswoman for Toyota said the car maker would not lodge its full-year accounts with the corporate regulator until the end of this month.