Toyota now expects its full-year operating loss to be three times larger than the $1.6 billion it forecast in December, the New York Times reports. The company expects to lose $5 billion for the fiscal year through March 31 as world automobile demand deteriorates. Toyota, which last year overtook GM as the world’s largest automaker, blamed declines in auto sales as well as gains by the yen.
Struggling with a swollen inventory of unsold cars and trucks, the company is nonetheless pressing ahead with hybrid and compact vehicle investment. A new model Prius is expected in May, and the first hybrid Lexus models are expected this summer. This year’s loss is the first ever for Toyota.