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Toyota returns to profit as family head sees "clear skies" ahead

Toyota Motor Corporation, the family-controlled automaker, announced this morning it has returned to profit in the first quarter of 2010 despite the problems it is facing due to an ongoing recalls crisis.
 
In a statement released today, Toyota said quarterly revenues had increased to 5.28 trillion yen from 3.54 trillion for the same figure in 2009. The company also highlighted other positives including saving 520 billion yen through cost reduction and 470 billion yen from reducing fixed costs.
 
Third-generation family head Akio Toyoda (pictured) thanked both his employees and customers in the statement, but speaking to journalists after the release said: "We are still in the middle of a storm, but I am feeling that we can see clear skies in the distance."
 
Aside from the current financial storm, Toyoda is also having to deal with a recall crisis that has plagued Toyota since November. (Continue reading here) The company has been forced to recall more than eight million vehicles, is facing up to 30 class-action lawsuits and is battling to save its reputation for quality and safety.
 
Last month the company agreed to pay a $16.4 million fine to the US Department of Transport after it accused Toyota of failing to notify them of a safety fault that the automaker had supposedly been aware of for months. (Continue reading here) Yet on Monday the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it had began a new investigation into another apparent defect.
 
Toyoda, the grandson of Toyota's founder and the first family head in 14 years, took over in June 2009. 

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