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Toyota to set up joint venture with Chinese ride-hailing Didi



Toyota Motor Corp. said it will join forces with Chinese ride-hailing giant, Didi Chuxing Technology Co., by investing $600 in Didi.

The company said this on Thursday as part of its efforts to expand services in China.

The joint venture will also be joined by GAC Toyota Motor Co. Ltd, a venture already established between Toyota and China’s Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. and will be set up as early as this fall.

The new venture will see a range of services rolled out for ride-hailing drivers and will span financing and insurance, as well as vehicles maintenance.

The project will see Toyota promote the use of electric vehicles (EVs) in China, the world’s largest auto market.

“We look forward to combining Didi’s expertise in large-scale mobility operations and Toyota’s leading connected vehicle technology to build a next-generation.


Toyota, Honda car sales hit hard by COVID-19 pandemic 



Japanese carmakers Toyota Motor and Honda Motor said Tuesday their quarterly vehicle sales had been dealt a severe blow by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

For the January to March period, the maker of the Prius hybrid and Lexus luxury vehicles saw its net profit plunge 86.3 per cent year-on-year to 63.2 billion yen (588.5 million dollars) and its operating profit fall 27.5 per cent to 384.1 billion yen. Sales were down 8.4 per cent to 7.1 trillion yen for the quarter.

For the previous financial year, Toyota posted a net profit of 2.08 trillion yen, up 10.3 per cent from the previous year and an operating profit of 2.4 trillion yen, down 1 per cent.

Sales fell 1 per cent to 29.9 trillion yen.

“The world economy changed from a trend of moderate expansion to a sharp slowdown due to the effects of trade frictions and the impact of COVID-19 spreading from China to North America, Europe and Asia,” Toyota said in a statement.

Toyota projects operating profit for the current financial year will fall 79.5 per cent year-on-year to 500 billion yen due to the pandemic.

Japan’s largest carmaker also expects its sales revenues for the year to March 2021 to drop 19.8 per cent from the previous financial year to 24 trillion yen, while withholding its net earnings outlook due to the effects of the pandemic, it said.

The Toyota group, including Daihatsu Motor and Hino Motors, expects its global vehicle sales for the year to fall 14.9 per cent to 8.9 million units, it said.

Toyota halted vehicle production in many parts of the world to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

It resumed normal operations in China in late March.

Meanwhile, Honda said its net loss for the January-to-March period more than doubled from a year earlier to 29.5 billion yen as a result of the pandemic.

Honda also posted an operating loss of 5.6 billion yen in the quarter, compared to a profit of 42.4 billion yen in the same period last year, while sales dropped 14.6 per cent to 3.46 trillion yen.

Honda has declined to release profit forecasts for the current financial year due to the effects of the pandemic.

For the year ending March 31, Japan’s third-largest carmaker booked a net profit of 455.7 billion yen, down 25.3 per cent from the previous year, and an operating profit of 633.6 billion yen, down 12.8 per cent.

Honda said sales were down 6 per cent to 14.9 trillion yen for the year.

Global vehicles sales fell 10 per cent to 4.79 million units for the year, the carmaker said.

The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus has surpassed 286,000, while there are more than 4.1 million reported cases globally, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Toyota restarts production in France with epidemic prevention, control efforts




A worker wearing a face mask works in Toyota factory in Valenciennes, France, April 28, 2020. Toyota factory in Valenciennes has restarted on April 23 with epidemic prevention and control efforts. (Xinhua)

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Toyota’s global sales skid down in FY 2019 due to pandemic effects




Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday that the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the suspension of its production lines at home and overseas and slumping demand, had seen its global sales drop in the business year through March.

The Aichi Prefecture-based automaker said that global sales fell 1.4 percent in the business year, with sales comprising 10.45 million vehicles.

Following the automaker’s global group sales sliding 4.6 percent in February, Toyota said sales in March alone skidded down 22.6 percent in March to 779,151 vehicles.

Toyota attributed the decline to the global COVID-19 pandemic leading to its plants across many areas in Europe, the United States and Asia remaining shuttered in the recording period, with its global output reversing by 17.7 percent to 788,610 vehicles, compounded by consumer demand being badly hurt by the pandemic in March.

The maker of the ubiquitous Corolla and Prius hybrid models will likely see its output and sales figure worsen in the current month, as global plant suspensions have been extended and six of its domestic factories’ operations will remain halted through May amid the pandemic.


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Toyota further postpones restarting China plants due to virus



Japanese carmaker Toyota decided on Friday to keep all of its factories in China suspended for another week due to the deadly coronavirus outbreak, it said.

The closures of its 12 factories, including four vehicle plants, are expected to continue to sometime after Feb. 17, a Toyota spokeswoman told dpa.

Toyota had initially planned to resume its operations at the plants in early February after the Lunar New Year holiday.

The carmaker decided last week to continue to suspend them until at least Feb. 10.

Toyota produced about 1.4 million vehicles at the four plants for the Chinese markets in 2019, up to 6.6 per cent from the previous year.

The carmaker sold 1.62 million units in China, up to nine per cent from the previous year, it said.

On Thursday, Toyota revised up its operating profit outlook for the current financial year, ending March 31 to 2.5 trillion yen ($22.7 billion) from 2.4 trillion yen estimated three months ago.

Edited By: Halima Sheji/Abdulfatah Babatunde

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Success in South Africa (SA) to boost Toyota Cheetahs’ confidence on tour




Toyota Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie believes his team’s comprehensive 45-0 whitewash of the Isuzu Southern Kings in their Guinness PRO14 derby in Bloemfontein on Saturday was the perfect build-up for their tough tour of Ireland and Wales.

The Free Staters scored seven tries and by general consensus, could have scored even more, as they dominated the clash from the outset and emphatically erased any memories of the nail-biting encounter between the sides last week.

Isuzu Southern Kings coach Robbie Kempson acknowledged after the clash that the Toyota Cheetahs are an extremely difficult side to play at home, and this could be beneficial when they play an extended run of matches in Bloemfontein in March.

However, they first face a challenging northern hemisphere tour which starts with a visit to Leinster on Saturday, 15 February, and then clashes against Ulster and the Dragons.

Fortunately for Fourie and his charges, their two wins over their Port Elizabeth counterparts have partially made up for their unexpected defeat to Zebre early in January, and this has handed them a valuable seven-point lead over the Glasgow Warriors on their conference log.

If they win overseas they could give themselves a chance to finish second in Conference A ahead of Ulster, which will be invaluable in terms of their playoff hopes.

Fourie was delighted about their back-to-back wins against the Isuzu Southern Kings and said: “We always go onto the field with the aim of dominating possession and making the most of it, and against the Kings we made a few mistakes too many, but I still feel we have grown in confidence in the two derbies and that will help us on our next tour.

“We knew the whole week they wanted to dominate the physical stuff, but we dominated.

“Last week, particularly in the first half, they had the upper hand up front, but we turned it around later in the game. In this match I thought our forwards did really well.”

Looking back at the close call against the Isuzu Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth, Fourie reckoned his men are better off for having to fight their way back into the match and snatch the win against the odds.

“The last 10 minutes of the Port Elizabeth game was very important to our whole campaign,” said Fourie. “Had we lost there, it could have gone pear shaped for us.

“Coming back the way we did, and Ruan Pienaar slotting over the conversion to win it for us was huge for our confidence.

“As they say, a one-point win can make a huge difference for the morale. It showed what great character this side has and it really pulled the guys together.”

The coach added: “If you look at the negatives there were at least three tries we should have rounded off which we didn’t, but there were a lot of opportunities we created, which is what we have been working towards.

“We worked hard on our execution this week, but we are still not quite where we want to be and we have some work to do before we tour.”

Kempson accepted their defeat graciously, giving all the credit to the Toyota Cheetahs for their effective performance.

“The Cheetahs were very good, you have to give them credit for the way they played,” said Kempson.

“They hit us with wave after wave of attack, they were exceptional at the breakdown, and when they get that sort of momentum going they are hard to stop.

“In some areas they are very strong. One of those is the driving maul. We earmarked that as an area to work on this week, but they still managed to get over the line. I think what happened was that we gave them a fright last week, and then in the back end of that game we gave them some heart and this time they came out and hit us with their big guns.”

Click here ( for the match report of Saturday’s match at the Toyota Stadium.

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Toyota recalling 3.4 million cars over possible airbag malfunction



Toyota is recalling about 3.4 million vehicles worldwide over the suspected malfunctioning of airbags, the carmaker said on Wednesday. “The recall, including 2.9 million vehicles in the U.S., involves the Corolla, Corolla Matrix, Avalon, and Avalon HV models in North America, Central, and South America, Toyota said. No cars are being recalled this time in Japan and Europe,” Toyota said. The affected vehicles may have an electronic control unit which may not have adequate protection against certain “electrical noise” interference, a Toyota spokeswoman in Tokyo said. “This could lead to incomplete deployment or non-deployment of the airbags and also hamper the operation of seat belt pretensioners,” she said. The pretensioner tightens and reduces slack in seat belts to protect occupants from rapidly moving forward in the event of a crash. For the involved vehicles, Toyota will install a noise filter between the airbag control module and its wire harness, it said.


Edited by: Emmanuel Yashim

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Man docked for stealing Toyota Sienna bus worth N2.3m



A 31-year-old man, Obinna Okafor,  on Tuesday appeared  before an Ogudu Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, for allegedly stealing a Toyota Sienna Saloon bus worth N2.3 million.

Okafor, who resides at Ikeja area of Lagos, is facing a two-count charge of conspiracy and stealing, to which he pleaded not guilty.

The Prosecutor,  Mr Lucky Ihiehie, told the court that the defendant committed the offences with some other persons still at large on Oct. 4 at No. 23, Omoghodalo St., Ogudu GRA, Lagos.

Ihiehie said that the defendant used a master key to steal the vehicle from were it was parked.

He said that the defendant stole the bus with registration no AAA- 756 FH, belonging to the complainant, Mrs Oyinlola Famosa.

“The defendant stole the bus from were it was parked using a master key to gain access to the said vehicle.

“He was apprehended by some security guards when he couldn’t give any satisfactory answer about the vehicle and was handed over to the police ,” Ihiehie said.

The offences contravened Sections 287 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 (Revised).

The Nigeria News Agency  reports that Section 287 provides three years for stealing, while Section 411 stipulates two years for conspiracy.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs  Ejiro Kubeinje, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties in like sum and adjourned the case until Dec. 11.

Edited & Vetted By: Edith Bolokor/Oluwole Sogunle


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Driver in court for allegedly stealing Toyota Hilux belonging to the Federal Ministry of Water Resources



A 35-year-old man, Stephen Ndukwe, on Wednesday appeared in a Wuse Zone 6 Chief Magistrates’ Court in Abuja, for allegedly stealing a Toyota Hilux belonging to the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.

The police charged Ndukwe, who resides at No. 35, Road IA, Federal Housing Estate, Lugbe, Abuja, with theft.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Prosecutor, M.O. Odor, told the court that the defendant committed the offence on Feb. 11, at the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Old Secretariat, Garki, Abuja, where the vehicle was parked.

Odor alleged that the Toyota Hilux pick-up had registration number FG 501 A25.

He said that the defendant during investigation admitted taking the vehicle to his former resident without authorisation.

Odor added that the offence contravened  the provisions of Section 289 of the Penal Code.

The Defence Counsel, Constance Akbadolu, prayed the court to grant his client bail in most liberal terms.

The Chief Magistrate, Linda Chidama, admitted the defendant  to bail in the sum of N500,000 with a surety in like sum.

She adjourned the case until Jan. 20, 2020 for hearing.

Edited by Tayo Ikujuni/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)


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Toyota to recall 679 defective cars in China



Japanese automaker Toyota will begin recalling 679 imported Lexus cars from Nov. 16, due to defective pneumatic rods, according to China’s market regulator.

Filed by Toyota Motor (China) Investment Co., the recall will involve Lexus CT200h models manufactured between Jan. 30 and March 12, 2019, the State Administration of Market Regulation said in a statement.

Due to defective electroplating process by suppliers, surface of the pneumatic rods on the vehicles might fracture, which will pose safety risks, said the administration.

The company will check the serial number of the pneumatic rods and replace the defective parts free of charge.(Xinhua/NAN)


Edited by Halima Sheji/Ali Baba-Inuwa

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