Toyota expects its first net loss for fiscal year

TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp. expects a net loss for the fiscal year through March, news reports said, as Japan's biggest automaker deals with a global collapse in demand for cars.

Toyota plans to revise down its projections for the third time, with the operating loss now expected at around $4.5 billion from the earlier projection of $1.7 billion, Japan's Kyodo News agency and respected business newspaper The Nikkei reported.

The carmaker previously had predicted its first operating loss in 70 years, but said it expected to eke out a small net profit. Toyota now expects a net loss for the fiscal year, the reports said.

That would be the company's first annual net loss since it was founded in 1937.

Toyota spokesman Hideaki Homma declined to comment because the company is currently compiling the projections ahead of its earnings report for the October-December quarter, scheduled for release on Feb. 6.

Toyota has been hammered by the collapse in global demand for cars, and is slashing its number of temporary workers.