Hurt by the sluggish domestic demand and the appreciation of the yen, Isuzu Motors Ltd. posted unconsolidated pretax losses of 37.7 billion yen in the first half of fiscal 1999, the truck maker reported Friday.

Unconsolidated sales of the automaker slipped 19.3 percent to 377.5 billion yen, and the firm reported 37.3 billion yen in operating losses due to the sales decline in both the domestic market and overseas, said Takeshi Ino, president of Isuzu Motors.

The firm reported 26.9 billion yen in net losses.

Although sales in Southeast Asia started to show signs of recovery, the domestic sales dropped 17.4 percent to 137.4 billion yen and overseas sales declined 20.5 percent to 239.9 billion yen.

Domestic sales of trucks and cars in the April-September period came to 34,788 units, 8,009 units, or 18.7 percent, less than sales in the same period last year.

Exports dropped to 91,159 units, down 23,510 from the same period last year, due to a drop in the sales of small trucks, mainly in Latin America, Ino said.

Although the automaker cut back on its costs by 13 billion yen, the efforts could not make up for the sales decline, amounting to 27.4 billion yen, and the impact of the high appreciation of the yen, which cost the firm 12 billion yen.

Isuzu is currently carrying out structural reforms in its group and Ino said he hopes to complete the effort by March 2001. The company estimates sales for full fiscal 1999 at 850 billion yen and net losses at 25 billion yen.

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