The president of automotive giant Toyota has called for the transformation of company amid a 74 percent decrease in profit, mostly as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Toyota this week has reported a profit of approximately $1.5 billion for the most recent quarter, which is down from more than $6 billion in the same quarter the previous year.
Japanese news outlet Asahi Shimbun reports that Toyota ’s sales went in “all markets”, with the company warning that huge uncertainties remain over the pandemic.
In notes accompanying the results, Toyota says: “The impact of Covid-19 is wide-ranging, significant and serious, and it is expected that weakness will continue for the time being.”
However, in the run-up to the publication of the results, Akio Toyoda (pictured below), president of Toyota issued a statement saying indicating that the company has a positive outlook for the future, mostly because of deep structural changes in the automotive market.
Toyota has encapsulated these changes in its “CASE” theme, short for connected, autonomous, shared and electric – as the company believes future cars will increasingly be.
Toyoda said: “Toyota’s growth to date is within the established business model of the automotive industry.
“In light of technological innovations in ‘CASE’, the very concept of the automobile is on the verge of major change. Given this situation, we must transform our business model into one that is in line with the CASE era.”
Interestingly, Toyoda harked back to the company’s origins as a builder of looms for the textiles industry, and added that “automation is gradually advancing across society”, possibly indicating that the company may branch out more into other sectors beyond automaking.
However, he said: “It is clear that Toyota will not be able to survive the coming era on our own, nor just by focusing solely on cars.
“We need ‘friends’ with whom we can pool our strengths to mutually strengthen our competitiveness.”