Toyota reports first loss in 70 years — They made money in 1946?

Toyota — which is the best-run company in the world that isn’t P&G — yesterday announced it will have an operating loss for 2008 of $1.66 billion (or about what GM loses every week). They also announced this was the first time in 70 years it  lost money.

Toyota, which started in business as a loom maker, began making trucks and passenger cars in 1937. Its first and only operating loss came the following year, before it started reporting formal results in 1941.

Other people immediately asked the same question I did: How did they manage to report a profit (or break even) in 1945-47?

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