Toyota Puts Japan Recovery As Top Priority Over Earnings

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Akio Toyoda, the president of Toyota Motor Corp., on Friday said that they are thinking on how to restore the infrastructure lifeline in eastern Japan, rather than the affect of the tsunami in its earnings.

World’s largest carmaker Toyota Motor Corp. on Friday admitted that the March 11 earthquake and tsunami has severely affected its earnings for this year, but stressed that it will put Japan’s recovery effort on top of its priority list.

In a media briefing, Toyota president Akio Toyoda said that the extent of the devastation to its factories crippled its operations, affecting earnings forecasts for 2011. But he said that safety of the victims remained to be the company’s top priority, while it tries to restore normal operations.

“We’re not thinking about the numbers. Right now, our priority is the safety of the victims of the disaster,” Toyoda said.

“At the same time, we are also trying to bring back the company to its normal operations as soon as possible to restore hope,” the official added.

Toyoda also said that they are still assessing the extent of the damage, stressing that the company remained uncertain when it can resume full operations.

The Japanese automaker has temporarily stopped production lines at 16 factories, but has kept two other facilities – which make three hybrid models – at limited operations.

“All of eastern Japan has suffered major blows from the tsunami. Rather than think about Toyota’s recovery alone, we want to think about restoring the lifeline of the infrastructure in the entire region,” Toyoda said.

Earlier this week, Deutsche Securities slashed by at least 84 percent to $1.7 billion its forecast for the operating profit of Toyota for this year.

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