Toyota sees great first half fiscal year profit, but faces hurdles ahead image

Toyota is on track to remain the world’s largest automaker in terms of sales and has decided that it shouldn’t give up the position when it comes to earnings as well.

During the first half of the current fiscal year, the Japanese company’s worldwide net income rose 12.6% to $10.9 billion, together with the already reported July to September quarter climb to $4.2 billion, thoroughly surpassing industry analysts’ forecasts. The automaker has rode the strong demand in its traditional stronghold – the US, while most overseas markets also posted positive results. It also had the backing of the continued yen versus dollar exchange rate, which jumped profits from overseas exports to North America.

Still, the company faces some challenges ahead – the Japanese sales have dropped alsmot every month since April, when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifted for the first time in years the country’s consumption tax. Also, as some other Asian markets fell slightly, Toyota forecasts sales to slightly fall below the figure reported in 2013. That’s a bonus for its closest rival – Volkswagen AG. The German automaker took the second position when it comes to global sales last year from General Motors and is already moving ahead with its plan to overcome Toyota as well by the end of the decade. And by the looks of it, they could reach that goal faster than previewed, as the difference in sales has already shrunk from the tally reported last year.