Toyota Experiences 28 Percent Profit Drop

The world’s second largest automaker, Toyota, announced a 28 percent decline in profits for the January to March quarter, compared to last year, reports the Detroit News and the Associated Press.

Causes for the Japanese automaker’s profit drop include sluggish North American sales and a strengthening yen.

On Thursday, Toyota said it expects its net profit to sink 27 percent through March, 2009. While Toyota is known for its smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles, it still seems unable to escape what most of its competitors are facing – the U.S. credit crisis, a global slowdown, currency fluctuations and sky-high energy and material costs.

Even with the recent profit drop, Toyota expects global vehicle sales for the fiscal year through March 2009 to climb 1.6 percent to 9.06 million units.

Although Toyota is seeing a profit decline, Japanese automakers in general seem to be better off than their American competitors.