Toyota Motor Corporation ( TM Quick Quote TM - Free Report) recently vowed to remain profitable despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Toyota has halted several domestic factories from April through June to curb the spread of the virus. It also warned its investors that profits will likely tank 80% to a nine-year low in fiscal 2021 and targets an operating profit of 500 billion yen ($4.65 billion) for the fiscal year. Further, the automaker has not changed its plans to manufacture 3 million cars annually in the country.
In addition, Toyota is easing auto-loan payment deadlines and offering used rental vehicles instead of new ones to help cash-strapped customers in the face of the rising global market uncertainty. The firm has also refrained from cutting any jobs, and aims to reduce costs through scrutiny and improvement of every aspect of its business.
The coronavirus outbreak has rattled Japan’s auto market, with depressed demand and restricted business at dealerships. With the COVID-19-induced shelter-in-place orders since April, factories and stores were temporarily shuttered and demand shrunk. Apart from Toyota, other Japan-based auto biggies, including Nissan (
NSANY Quick Quote NSANY - Free Report) , Honda ( HMC Quick Quote HMC - Free Report) , Suzuki, Mazda and Mitsubishi, resorted to significant production cuts due to the coronavirus mayhem. In order to continue investing in development, Toyota and other automakers have also sought loans and credit lines from banks. Although Japan has lifted its state of emergency, the outbreak has damaged a number of smaller players in the auto industry, with one Toyota supplier filing for bankruptcy last week.
Furthermore, Toyota has rolled out policies which include keeping the staff at least 6 feet apart, sanitizing work areas and tracking employee temperature regularly to keep workers safe. The companies have also installed plastic screens or partitions along assembly lines to isolate staff, redesigned workspaces for lesser encounters and made wearing face masks or shields compulsory.
Meanwhile, Toyota has signed a joint-venture (JV) agreement forming United Fuel Cell System R&D (Beijing) Co., Ltd. (FCRD) with five Chinese OEMs, including Beijing SinoHytec, China FAW Corporation Limited, Dongfeng Motor Corporation, Guangzhou Automobile Group, and Beijing Automotive Group. The JV is aimed at supplying fuel-cell systems for commercial vehicles manufactured by the Japanese automaker in China and strengthen its ties with the Chinese companies.
Toyota plans to introduce fuel-cell-enabled SUVs, and pick-up and commercial trucks by 2025. Additionally, the automaker is working on hydrogen fuel stations in collaboration with various partners. It aims to generate half of its global sales from electric vehicles by 2025.
Zacks Rank & Key Pick
Toyota currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). Shares of the company have depreciated 11.5%, year to date, compared with the
industry’s decline of 9.3%.
A better-ranked stock in the same sector is Tesla (
TSLA Quick Quote TSLA - Free Report) , sporting a Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy) at present. You can see . the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here
Shares of Tesla have soared 132.6%, year to date, compared with the industry’s rise of 44.3%.
Biggest Tech Breakthrough in a Generation
Be among the early investors in the new type of device that experts say could impact society as much as the discovery of electricity. Current technology will soon be outdated and replaced by these new devices. In the process, it’s expected to create 22 million jobs and generate $12.3 trillion in activity.
A select few stocks could skyrocket the most as rollout accelerates for this new tech. Early investors could see gains similar to buying Microsoft in the 1990s. Zacks’ just-released special report reveals 8 stocks to watch. The report is only available for a limited time.
See 8 breakthrough stocks now>>