Net profits at Toyota Motors fell 77 percent in the first quarter of 2011, according to a report released today. The company's profits tumbled to $314.91 million--a decline of about $1.3 billion from the previous quarter.
The period in question, January to March 2011, includes the earthquake that struck a huge blow to Japanese industrial output. Toyota makes 38 percent of its cars in Japan, more than any other big automaker. Despite the devastation in that country, Toyota has said that it expects Japanese production to recover to about 70 percent by next month, and that it will have returned to full capacity by November or December.
Company president Akio Toyoda has said that he intends to maintain a strong industrial presence in Japan, even though, as Reuters points out, "issues like the strong yen and unsteady power supply [have] made it difficult to justify building cars" in the country. "Toyota was born in Japan, raised in Japan and is now a global company," Toyoda said. "I love Japan, and I want to keep the tradition of manufacturing strong here."