Toyota halves profit forecast due to 'unprecedented' crisis
Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. slashed its annual net profit forecast by more than half Thursday, warning the global auto industry faced an "unprecedented" crisis.
The company said it was reviewing its expansion plans as it became the latest car giant to reveal plunging profits due to the financial crisis, following on the heels of BMW, Nissan and Honda.
Toyota, vying with General Motors for the title of the world's top automaker, now expects earnings of 550 billion yen (5.6 billion dollars) in the current year to March, down from the 1.25 trillion yen previously projected.
That would mark a decline of 68 percent from the previous year -- the first drop in Toyota's annual earnings in nine years.
"The severity of the current situation is like nothing we have seen before," Toyota executive vice president Mitsuo Kinoshita said.
"The global financial crisis has affected the real economy, and the auto markets, particularly in developed countries, are suddenly decelerating.”