The massive Japanese maker has forecast a full-year loss of over $1.5 billion.
This will be its first recorded loss since it began reporting in 1941.
A slump in sales is the cause. Exports were down over a quarter last month, a pattern that has grown throughout the year. In November, US and European sales were down over a third.
The Japanese Yen has also risen against other currencies. This means Toyota makes less cash from foreign sales. These are core to the company’s performance.
Toyota has thus slashed its operating profit forecast by over 90 per cent.
There have been no full-time job losses so far, but the Japanese giant has laid off agency and temporary workers.
‘When Toyota makes a loss,’ said one commentator, ‘you know the whole industry is in trouble.’
Toyota this year overtook Ford as the world’s biggest car maker.
By Richard Aucock