The eyes of the formula one world have flicked nervously to Toyota, not yet three weeks after fellow struggling Japanese carmaker Honda announced it is withdrawing from the sport.

The eyes of the formula one world have flicked nervously to Toyota, not yet three weeks after fellow struggling Japanese carmaker Honda announced it is withdrawing from the sport.

Toyota, the world's largest automaker, said in a statement on Monday it expected to record its first ever operating loss, to the tune of $1.7 billion in the year through March.

The projected loss replaces the previous prediction of a $6.7 billion profit, raising serious questions about the manufacturer's commitment to its Cologne based formula one team.

"The environment we're in is extremely tough," president Katsuaki Watanabe told reporters in Nagoya. "We're facing an unprecedented emergency situation. Unfortunately, we can't see the bottom."

In an attempt to cut costs due to the slumping demand for new cars and the stronger yen, Toyota has already cut contract jobs, production and executive pay including board members' bonuses.

 

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