Toyota Motor Corporation said it will remain profitable even as the novel coronavirus sweeps the globe. According to Automotive News, company CEO Akio Toyoda told shareholders that it is using lessons learned during the global financial crisis to overcome the challenges brought on by the pandemic.

Toyota also warned that profits will fall by 80% (a nine-year low) and targeted operating profit of 500 billion yen (RM20 billion) for the fiscal year through March. The target is not a plan, but rather a minimum standard that it’ll have to meet, said Toyoda.

Its plans to produce three million cars annually in Japan won’t change, although Toyota has halted a few domestic factories from April through June. Some of its suppliers were also affected by the coronavirus, with one filing for bankruptcy just last week. Toyota have since sought loans and credit lines from banks that will be used for development.

“If we don’t win, we wouldn’t be able to support this industry and country. We are different today from what we were during the financial crisis,” Toyoda said.

The shareholders meeting took place at Toyota’s headquarters in Nagoya. About 360 shareholders joined the meeting, far less than the previous sitting of 5,500 people. The meet lasted just 80 minutes, the shortest annual meet since 2000. Precautionary measures were implemented, such as temperature checks, seat reduction, and setting up transparent partitions in front of speakers.

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