Honda F1 website

MAY 12, 2004

Toyota is booming

Toyota Motor has reported a net profit for the year ended March 31 of $10bn, thus underlining the firm's status as the second biggest car manufacturer in the world - and closing in on General Motors. The profit is a 55% increase on the previous year and was achieved thanks to increased sales around the world and cost reductions. Toyota's aim is to get 15% of the global car market within the next 10 years. In 2003 GM sold 8.6m cars compared to Toyota's 6.7m but the US company made a profit of only $3.8bn for 2003. Toyota's market capitalisation is now bigger than that of GM, Ford and Chrysler combined. In the individual markets Toyota's growth is biggest in the Europe where operating profits were up 772%; in other markets (Asia, the Middle East and Oceania) where they rose 112%; in America where the growth was 39.6% and in Japan where it was a more modest 17.4%.

It seems, therefore, that the company can afford pretty much anything - including Ralf Schumacher's outrageous salary suggestions. Whether the Japanese will agree a deal with Ralf remains to be seen...