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Toyota sees share surge after unveiling EVs for US market

(ATF) Toyota Motor Corporation shares rose after the Japanese carmaker said it would unveil two new electric vehicles (EVs) for the US market.

Tokyo-listed company’s stock rose 1.7% to 8,130 yen at the close of trading. But the Japanese bourse is shut on Thursday February 11 for National Day.

The carmaker is tapping into a US policy of cutting vehicle emissions under Joe Biden’s administration.

Toyota said it expects that by 2025, 40% of its US sales will be either EVs or hybrid vehicles, with that proportion rising to 70% by 2030. 

One of the new EVs next year will be a sport-utility vehicle and the other plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. The new vehicles for the US market are “the first of many,” according to the company.

“Electrification is the future of this industry – there is no doubt about that,” said Bob Carter, executive vice president of sales for Toyota Motor North America. “The only debate we have is that rate of change.”

In 2020, Toyota sold 337,000 hybrid vehicles in the US, accounting for 16% of sales in the country. Overall sales rose 22% in China, 13% in North America and 15% in Europe. 

ROBUST RESULTS

The announcement on EVs follows Toyota’s upbeat results announced on February 10. The carmaker reported operating profit for the quarter ending December 31 of ¥987.9 billion, a 56% year-on-year increase and in excess of expectations.

Operating margin reached a robust 12% for the quarter. 

“Toyota’s edge versus rivals comes from a larger volume effect, driven by sales success in the market and reduction of the break-even point by securing profits throughout the value chain,” Takaki Nakanishi, equity analyst at Jefferies in Tokyo, said.

“Most important has been its realisation of supply that meets demand amid continued curtailment of production in the Covid-19 pandemic,” he added.

Toyota has said it is expects its 2021 results to largely shrug off the semiconductor shortage squeezing the global automotive industry.

“We are also affected by the global semiconductor shortage, but for now, we’re not experiencing big cuts to production,” Kenta Kon, Toyota’s chief financial officer, said in an online news conference after the results were announced.

The Japanese carmaker overtook Germany’s Volkswagen as the world’s largest carmaker last year, and outperformed its rivals in both sales and profit margin in the third quarter. 

With reporting by Reuters

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.

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