GM was the top-selling automaker for more than seven decades before losing the title to Toyota in 2008. Last year, Toyota sank to No. 3 after GM and Volkswagen AG of Germany as it got hit with the earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan and the Thai floods later in the year.
Although Toyota lost 20 billion yen ($250 million) in operating profit from an unfavorable exchange rate, it gained 160 billion yen ($2 billion) through cost-reduction efforts during the latest quarter, the company said.
Nomura Securities Co. auto analyst Masataka Kunugimoto said in a report last month the damage to Toyota‘s bottom line from the sales decline in China would be small as Toyota gains sales in other markets such as North America, Southeast Asia and Brazil.
“Profits are expected to expand further,” he said.
Other Japanese automakers also are recovering but suffering the China sales drop.
Honda Motor Co.’s quarterly profit surged 36 percent, and it raised its sales forecast to 4.1 million vehicles for the year through March 2013, down about 180,000 from the earlier forecast of 4.3 million. Honda lowered its profit forecast to 375 billion yen ($4.7 billion) for the full fiscal year from 470 billion yen ($5.9 billion). The new forecast still represents a 78 percent rebound.
Nissan Motor Co., allied with Renault SA of France, reports earnings Tuesday.
Toyota stock gained 2 percent to 3,210 yen ($40) in Tokyo trading.