Toyota could vault past GM to become the second most profitable automaker this year.
After a few weak years, it appears that Toyota has bounced back: The Japanese automaker is expected to hit a five year high this year, besting arch rival in Detroit General Motors.
An aggregate of analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg suggests that Toyota's fiscal year profits might top $10 billion for the year that ends next March. That represents roughly triple the profit Toyota is expected to report this week for the fiscal year that ended in March of 2012. Japanese automakers operate on a fiscal calendar that begins ends on the last day of March.
Toyota chief Akio Toyoda, the grandson of the automaker's founder, is credited with installing a new culture in his quest for both more passionate and more profitable products.
"He must be coming out stronger because of the many challenges he's faced, so I think we can look forward to seeing how he narrows the gap against GM," analyst Mitsushige Akino of Ichiyoshi Investment Management Company in Tokyo told Bloomberg, alluding to the difficulties Toyota and its Japanese rivals have faced over the last few years. Toyota was subjected to a major unintended acceleration issue that started in North America but spread globally, while all of Japan's brands saw production collapse domestically after last year's tsunami rocked the island nation.
More information on Toyota's 2013 forecast should be available later todoay, but analysts expected that it will estimate a 2 percent increase in sales revenue. Only Germany's Volkswagen is expected to be more profitable than Toyota.