Toyota Motor Corp.
) has launched the extraordinarily revamped 11th generation
Toyota Corolla sedan at a celebration event inside Barker Hangar
in Santa Monica, California. With the launch, the automaker
intends to draw new buyers, particularly from China, and head off
competition from the same class of vehicles such as Focus by
), Elantra by Hyundai, and Civic by
Toyota Corolla has a history of nearly 50 years with more than 40
million units sold since it was first introduced in Japan in 1966
in more than 150 countries.
The 2014 Corolla is equipped with 1.8-liter all-aluminum
four-cylinder engines while its Eco version offers 1.8-liter
engines with Valvematic - a valve train technology introduced on
Corolla for the first time in North America. It has also adopted
the new "Iconic Dynamism" design theme seen before on Toyota's
latest Avalon sedan.
The new Corolla also offers the interior volume of a midsize car
as it comes with a near four inches longer wheelbase than the
previous model and more legroom due to a thinner and more
sculpted front seat. The Eco version is much more fuel-efficient
giving more than 40 miles per gallon.
Toyota Motor recaptured the sales crown from
General Motors Company
) by selling 9.75 million vehicles globally in 2012, which
exceeded GM's sales of 9.29 million vehicles.
Toyota's victory can be attributed to its impressive product
lineups and marketing initiatives. The automaker lost its No.1
position to General Motors in 2011 after gaining the title from
the same in 2008. The loss of crown was driven by declining
reputation due to a series of safety recalls as well as negative
impact from natural disasters in Japan and Thailand in 2011.
However, Toyota vowed to regain the top position by increasing
its dependence on the non-U.S. markets, especially the high
growth emerging markets. In 2012, the company reported an
impressive 26.6% jump in sales to 2.08 million vehicles in the
U.S. driven by strong sales across its lineups as it recouped the
dealer lots with new vehicles.
Toyota plans to sell 9.91 million vehicles globally in this year,
reflecting an estimated rise of 1.6% from 2012. It aims to
generate 50% of global sales from the emerging markets by 2015,
up from 45% presently.
Toyota posted earnings of ¥962.16 billion ($10.22 billion) or
¥303.78 ($3.23) per share in the fiscal year ended Mar 31, 2013,
reflecting more than threefold increase from ¥283.56 billion or
¥90.20 per share in the prior fiscal year. However, earnings
missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $6.26 per share for the
Consolidated revenues in the year escalated 18.7% to ¥22.06
trillion ($234.33 billion) on a 20.7% rise in unit sales to 8.87
million units. Unit sales rose 10.0% in Japan, 31.9% in Europe,
0.1% in Europe, 26.9% in Asia and 27.8% in Other reporting
However, revenues were lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of
$278.12 billion. Operating income increased nearly fourfold to
¥1.32 trillion ($14.03 billion) from ¥355.63 billion in fiscal
The improvement in revenues and profits was attributable to
positive impacts from marketing activities of ¥650.0 billion
($6.90 billion), cost reduction activities of ¥450.0 billion
($4.78 billion) and currency fluctuations of ¥150.0 billion
($1.59 billion), partially offset by negative impact from related
expenses of ¥300.0 billion ($3.19 billion).
Currently, shares of Toyota retain a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong
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