Thai floods blessing in
disguise for RI Toyota

Indonesia’s largest automotive company, PT Toyota Astra Motor, is expecting to surpass Thailand’s sales record this year, following massive floods in Thailand – a production hub for a number of international car brands.

“We forecast that our sales will reach 310,000 units by the end of December 2011,” the company’s president director, Johnny Darmawan, said on Saturday as quoted by Antara.

“It is likely that Indonesia’s sales will exceed those of Thailand’s because of the floods hitting that country,” he said, adding that Thailand had always posted the highest sales of Toyota cars in Southeast Asia.

He, however, did not provide the number of cars Thailand sold annually.

According to the Indonesian Automotive Manufacturers Association (Gaikindo), Toyota sold 285,034 units as of November this year, exceeding the 280,989 units recorded in the same period last year.

He said sales would be better in December than in November because the delivery of spare parts and complete knock-down units from Thailand was recovering.

In its headquarters in Japan, the country’s largest automaker expects to book a net profit of ¥180 billion (US$2.3 billion), down 54 percent from the ¥390 billion it projected in August. It estimates leaner revenue of ¥18.2 trillion ($234.36 billion) from ¥19 trillion, the Associated Press reported last week.

Toyota expects to sell 7.38 million vehicles worldwide this year instead of the 7.6 million it predicted four months ago.

The flooding, Thailand's worst one in half a century, will result in an output loss of 230,000 vehicles, said executive vice president Satoshi Ozawa at a news conference in Tokyo. (mtq)

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