Toyota expects 1.1 billion loss

* Global car crisis hits Toyota * First time company has reported operating loss * There will still be a net profit, though...

Toyota expects 1.1 billion loss

Toyota has sent shock waves through the global car industry by predicting it will make an operating loss of around 1.1 billion for the current financial year.

Toyota's financial year runs from March to March, and Toyota has not posted a loss since it began reporting financial results in 1941. The warning was made by company boss Katsuaki Watanabe.

'The change that has hit the world economy is of a critical scale that comes once in a hundred years,' said Watanabe, who pointed to a dramatic fall in American car sales as a key factor in Toyota's expected loss.

Despite the operating loss, Toyota still expects to make a net profit of around 375 million for the current year, which is down from around 4 billion for the previous 12 months.