After a nearly flawless company history - over 70 years of profits - Toyota posted its first-ever loss for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2009. And a new report from Japan today says Toyota is already predicting a loss of up to $5 billion for the coming year as well.

The report, which originates with the sometimes-shaky Nikkei seems firm on the numbers, with a 500 billion yen loss ($5 billion) expected. That's the same as the loss Toyota posted this year.

Toyota's outlook is that the market is in an emergency situation, with no upturn in sight. Cost-cutting measures including delayed production, slashing R&D expenditures and cutting back on motorsports are its only defense as sales continue to plummet - total sales volume at Toyota is expected to dip below 7 million cars for the first time in six years, reports Bloomberg, to 6.5 million.

Despite the economic strife and low projected sales, Toyota has pushed ahead with the release of the 2010 Prius, and is also planning to launch sales of the first dedicated Lexus hybrid, the HS 250h, later this year.