Chinese sales boost Toyota’s profit
Sales in China of economical models such as the Corolla offset decline in North American purchases
Tokyo — Toyota’s quarterly profit edged up as demand for its bread-and-butter car models from cost-conscious Chinese buyers helped offset bleak North American sales, although the firm’s shares slipped as it cut its annual net income outlook. Japan’s biggest vehicle maker attributed the smaller forecast to unrealised losses from equity investments, but, in an indication that business was still strong, it kept its full-year operating profit view unchanged at ¥2.4-trillion ($22bn). The car maker posted Asian sales of 464,000 units in the third quarter, up 15% from a year earlier, as strong demand in China for its cheap-and-cheerful Corolla and Levin sedans continued into the end of 2018. Popularity of its luxury Lexus brand also helped it buck a broader slowdown in the world’s biggest auto market. Toyota’s global sales rose 2.8% to 2.71-million units, with Asia making up for the slack in North America, where its sales slid 7.5% to 680,000 units.
“When one region is underperformin...