The lingering effects of the Japanese earthquake are expected to mar Japanese automakers' fiscal Q2 results while the Thai floods cloud outlooks but the Koreans are expected to deliver another round of stellar results. Q2 results in India are also expected to be down as sales slow.

A results preview by the Reuters news agency noted that as Japan's top three automakers, Toyota, Nissan and Honda, were just beginning to ramp up production to make up for tsunami-related losses earlier this year, the Thai flood effects put brakes on those plans. Thai factories of all three have been closed for weeks with no sign yet of a restart.

Even more painful is the strong yen, which hit a record high against the dollar of JPY75.73 on Tuesday, a JPY17 drop from last business year.

For Toyota, which assumed an average rate of JPY80 for the year to next March, every JPY1 fall in the dollar pushes annual operating profit down JPY34bn (US$450m) because a strong yen makes exports less profitable and diminishes the value of earnings made overseas.

Q2 earnings will likely overshoot the guidance given by top Japanese automakers thanks to a faster than expected recovery in production. The focus will be on whether and how much they lift their forecasts amid all the negatives, Reuters said. Honda begins the Japanese reporting season on Monday.

"First half earnings are likely to be well ahead of company plans but we believe that full year projections will probably be left unchanged," Bank of AmericaMerrill Lynch analyst Takaki Nakanishi told the news agency. "Market sentiment is likely to be dampened by the implicit downward revision to second half earnings."

Nissan is seen posting the biggest operating profit for July to September thanks to its brisk sales in most major markets and a swifter comeback from the post quake supply disruption.

Honda's second quarter profit is forecast to fall 61%, according to a Reuters survey of 13 analysts, as a supply shortage dragged on longer than its peers. Its outlook has become shakier with its Thai car factory under water and motorcycle production at a separate facility halted due to supply problems.

Toyota's three Thai factories were undamaged, but the broken supply chain began affecting its production in Japan and other Southeast Asian factories this week.

Nomura Securities analyst Masataka Kunugimoto estimated a one month suspension of output in Thailand would shave annual operating profit by JPY25bn at Toyota, JPY8bn at Honda and JPY7bn at Nissan.

In contrast, for Hyundai and Kia, whose sales are geographically diversified, analysts expect a bright outlook for the remaining three months with cars like the Sonata and Optima winning over consumers with attractive prices, features and styling.

Once viewed as manufacturers of bland but economical cars, they have addressed design and reliability problems in recent years to outperform during the global financial crisis and have become formidable competitors to more established rivals.

Both companies have said they would likely beat their earlier sales targets for 2011 despite the euro zone's debt crisis and fears of a US recession.

"I am not worried about South Korean carmakers' earnings in the (October-December) fourth quarter," Park In-woo, an auto analyst at LIG Investment & Securities, told Reuters. "The macroeconomic uncertainty will have little impact on their sales."

But maintaining sales momentum next year in the face of a slowing global economy, resurgent Japanese rivals, and their stretched manufacturing capacity may be a challenge, analysts said.

Hyundai reports Q3 earnings on Thursday and Kia on Friday.

Indian automakers are expected to post a fall in second quarter revenues on a slowdown in demand due to high interest rates, Reuters noted. Higher raw material costs will crimp margins. The country's central bank raised interest rates again this week, for a total hike of 375 basis points since March 2010.

"Slower sales are going to impact the firms' operating leverage and we're likely to see discounts having a negative impact on profit margins," Joseph George, industry analyst at Mumbai-based brokerage IIFL, told the news agency.

Maruti Suzuki India, 54.2% owned by Suzuki Motor, is forecast to report a 32% fall in quarterly net profit. The company has been hit by labour unrest, and strikes at its factories have cost it around $400m in lost production.

Car sales in India fell in July in their first monthly decline in nearly three years. They continued to slide in August and September after a 30% jump last business year.

India's auto industry body this month slashed its growth forecast to 2-4% for this fiscal year from 12-14% previously.