North American car makers may be in the midst of a massive financial crisis, but their problems don’t extend to the rest of the world. Toyota has become the most profitable manufacturing company in the world, and the tenth most profitable publicly traded company of any kind, after posting an annual net profit for the past fiscal year of $12.1 billion. That’s a 17.2 percent increase over the previous year. They made $4.4 billion in the U.S. market alone.
Their sales increased by 13.4 percent to $185.8 billion. By comparison, General Motors sales totaled $192.6 billion. Unless something drastic happens, Toyota will pass GM to become the biggest car maker in the world, perhaps as soon as this year. GM has held the top position for 75 years. Toyota has already dwarfed GM in stock value. Toyota’s current market value of about $218 billion is almost 15 times more than GM.
Toyota isn’t sitting back and resting on their laurels. For the second year, the company will spend more than $14 billion on new factories, as well as $8.4 billion on research and development.