Shortage? What shortage?

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TOKYO – Toyota said on Wednesday it has a stock of chips that will last up to four months, and did not immediately expect a global shortage of chips to hit production as it boosted its full-year earnings forecast by a greater than expected. 54%.

Unlike other automakers, including Japanese peers Nissan and Honda, which had to cut production due to semiconductor shortages, Toyota increased production for the fiscal year ending March.

Shares of Toyota, the world’s largest automaker based on car sales, closed 1.7% after reaching its highest level since July 2015.

“For the short term, we do not see a decrease in production volume due to the chip shortage, but we do see the risk of a chip shortage,” said Chief Financial Officer Kenta Kon during a briefing.

Kon said Toyota had heard that global chip shortages could continue into the summer, although the situation could resolve itself sooner.

When asked why the automaker sees limited impact compared to the competition, Kon said Toyota has consistently provided suppliers with its short- and long-term production volume plans.

The auto industry has been struggling with a chip shortage since late last year, exacerbated in some cases by the former US government’s sanctions against Chinese chip factories.

Taiwanese TSMC says that in its current silicon production it tries to prioritize automotive applications as much as possible to reduce the shortage, but demand from consumer sectors is as high as the industry faces COVID-related production shortages.

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But the maker of the RAV4 crossover and Prius hybrid said it expects to sell 9.73 million vehicles this year, 3.3% more than a previous forecast of 9.42 million, but still lower than the 10 , 46 million from last year.

“The fact that Toyota is now not largely affected by the chip shortage is an encouraging catalyst,” said Hideyuki Suzuki, general director of investment research at SBI Securities.

For the fiscal year ending March 31, Toyota now expects record operating profit of 2 trillion yen ($ 19.13 billion), much higher than a previous forecast of 1.3 trillion yen, and well above an average earnings forecast of 1,542 trillion yen. based on estimates of 23 analysts, Refinitiv data showed.

The automaker now expects the yen to trade at 105 yen against the US dollar, against an earlier forecast of 106 yen.

Toyota said operating profit rose to 987.9 billion yen in the three months ended December 31, from an average profit of 565.51 billion yen from nine analysts polled by Refinitiv SmartEstimate.