Toyota Motor Corporation's sales for the six-month period to the end of September totaled 6.4 trillion yen, up 3.2 percent compared to the same period last year, but profit for the period decreased 20.9 percent to 159.5 billion yen. Net income per share was 43.2 yen, a decrease of 11.27 yen compared to the six months period ended September 30, 1999.

Commenting on the results, TMC President Fujio Cho said, "Implementing structural reforms for enhanced efficiency and cost reduction has born fruit during this period, and we expect it to continue contributing to better earnings into the future. These and other measures have played a key part in helping TMC offset the negative influences of changes in foreign exchange rates, creating first-half results that reflect the successes of our day-to-day business activities."

TMC's recent business strategy has been to establish a firm income base in Japan and an overseas sales strategy that is responsive to the strong yen. In order to meet these objectives, TMC has been focusing on the introduction of more attractive products, increasing its technological competitiveness and trying to achieve higher levels of efficiency and cost reduction.

Concerning Japan and the introduction of more attractive products in the Japanese market, Cho said, "The favourable responses received by our youth-targeted bB and FunCargo, as well as by the Crown, Estima and other completely new or totally redesigned models testify to the advances we have made in product development. TMC believes it has been able to increase consumer demand with these products. Additionally, the August releases of the all-new Corolla and Celsior are off to a good start, leading toward expectations for yet greater sales."

Cho said full production at TMC's engine manufacturing operation in the U.S. state of West Virginia and at its Tundra pickup truck-producing plant in Indiana has supported sales and contributed to profit increases in North America. "The result of these and other engagements abroad took first-half overseas sales to their highest point ever," he said.

In addition to the increase in sales, Cho said the release of the Prius hybrid vehicle in North America and Europe has heightened recognition of TMC's environmental approach.