• Dec 19, 2008
During the debates leading up to the Detroit automaker bailout, politicians and pundits kept pointing to Toyota and asking "Why can't you be more like them?" Well, they are... sorta. It's looking increasingly likely that Toyota will post an operating loss for the 2008 fiscal year that ends March 31, 2009. The last time Toyota lost money over an entire year was its first 365 days of operation back in 1937/38.
Toyota has apparently been slashing budgets across the board in recent months as sales have dropped by more than 30% in the US and in other parts of the world. At the same time, the value of the dollar against the yen has also dropped, meaning that Toyota is losing out on the currency exchange. Toyota (and Honda and Nissan) are navigating the same severe rapids as Detroit, they just started further upstream. The company has slashed production, canceled a diesel engine program for its big trucks and halted construction on a new factory in Mississippi. A profit warning announcement is expected from Toyota on Monday.

[Source: Reuters]


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  • 117 Comments
      James
      • 6 Years Ago
      It is to bad about Toyota. I just wish that american auto makers made quality cars.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @James
        You MUST be a pinball wizard!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Many things have been used to keep the American Auto Industry down, Beleive me it's not been the UAWs fault for all of these problems. GM, Ford and Chrysler have had a century of Working in this market and have had good retirement benefits and as the only country without socialized medicine we have had good healthcare benefits. Now we allow the foreign companies in to this countrs and give them land and pay them to train there work force and don't help out the old line employers. Quality at the big 3 is as good as the rest of the world. UAW plants hold the honor of the most productive in the world. The so called Lazy UAW workers at the plant I retired from build a full size truck every 48 seconds, the Vehicles don't build themselfs. With the last contract the UAW gave up all most all of the differance in pay to the companies. GM gives a statement every year and last years statement said that with benefits I made $48 an hour, a far cry from what the media says.
      If you haven't tried American produced Autos check them out again. My 95 Cadilliac Deville has gotten as much as 29.6 MPG and gets 16 - 18 in town. I also have over 165,000 miles on it.
      My pick-up is a crew cab one ton and gets better mileage than either a Titan or Tundra, Mine get 19 on the Highway on a regular bases. I now have 200,000 miles on it and haul with it all over the country.
      Toyota and Nissan tried to follow Detroit into the full size truck and SUV markets and every anti-union thinker saies the Detroit doesn't build what people want? Where did 7 million American producted vehicles a year go?
      Maybe some of the blame for this meltdown is from the greedy exectutives on Wall Street. They got there money from all of us that put our hard earned money into their stocks and have nothing to show now.
      james l. wynn
      • 6 Years Ago
      the big three should stop dumping millions into nascar teams the teams get filthy rich and we bail out the big three
      GiantkillerSS
      • 6 Years Ago
      Fanstic comment by AZMike "the Japanese, German, South Korean, French, British, and Swedish governments have already taken care of that with their respective manufacturers. no need for the begging, and dog-and-pony show we had here in the US; the other countries know how vital their auto industries are."
        • 6 Years Ago
        @GiantkillerSS
        UK has not given any money to Land Rover, Aston or jag. as yet.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @GiantkillerSS
        The British gave a ton of money to the companies you metnion.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Leyland_Motor_Corporation

        As to them bailing them out right now, well, none of those companies you mention are British-owned right now. In fact, there are no major British car makers anymore.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is a real indicator on how badly this Economy Sucks! Can you even imagine Toyota ever poised to lose money? Unthinkable!

      The major problem is that many people are simply hesitant to purchase large ticket items such as cars due to job security concerns and economic uncertainty. Until the U.S. job security and economic stability issues are addressed, there will be few buyers flocking to the Dealer showrooms. The real crisis for the entire Auto Industry is: A currently overflowing and ever increasing inventory of vehicles and few/no willing buyers!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Quick, how can we blame the Big 3 management style or the UAW for this?
        • 6 Years Ago
        This not about the UAW but the OCAW... My father worked for Texaco in research for over 30 years. By union rules if a light bulb in his office burned out he could not replace it himself. He had to call a union electrician to change it. That is a waste of a company's money, money that could be better spent elsewhere, like creating more jobs!
        • 6 Years Ago
        By using the UAW's own propaganda:
        According to them, the only reason those auto workers down south have had it so good, is because the automakers there have been matching wages with their union brothers to keep the UAW out.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ahh the work rules myth again....

        " Those sorts of efficiency-strangling rules have been negotiated out of contracts over the years.

        The rules that do remain mostly involve legitimate safety concerns, he said, and don't hurt efficiency. For example, fixing an electrical problem still requires a union electrician. "If you are not a trained electrician, you can kill yourself," he said. "That makes sense.""

        http://money.cnn.com/2008/12/19/autos/auto_bailout_labor_issues/index.htm?postversion=2008121914
        • 6 Years Ago
        ^Uh, genius, sabotage is a fireable offense and so is taking your time. I know, because I was a machine operator and worked on an assembly line at Buick and I had to work with skilled trades regularly.

        If the line breaks down, it's because management won't pay to fix it (or, some guy fucked up and his ass is being chewed out for slowing down production). Time and time again, I've seen then hold things together with glue and duct tape when buying a new part would save them in the long run.

        Furthermore, work rules are entirely negotiated at a local level, and General Motors has no qualm about shutting down locals that are stubborn and obstinate, while rewarding those who concede to their demands.

        ^^To the guy above that: I know graduated and employed engineers. Having a degree doesn't qualify you to work on a machine. I know of plenty of people who thought otherwise and either made the situation much worse or injured themselves pretty badly.

        One time there was an engineering student who came in to check on a job in my area. She wanted to see down the conveyor where the parts go, turned her head, and let all of her pretty hair get tangled in the rollers. Ripped a huge chunk of it out before someone could get to the E-Stop.

        Fuses and breakers have enough electricity going through them to fry a man. I remember when they told me to start turning the lights on in the morning; the box was directly above a spot that was habitually flooded with coolant (mostly water). This is an operation that requires thick rubber gloves (among other things) when the ground beneath you is DRY.
        • 6 Years Ago
        We aren't talking a 3 phase panel. I understand the need for trained people, however they take it to the extreme in order to promote the union, no care if they screw the company or not.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes, Doug... Industrial electrical feeds include 480 volt three phase power. That is not the kind of ordinary circuit panel like in a home and only a trained individual should be opening that box for many reasons including safety and legal responsibility. It's very dangerous and potentially deadly not just to the person in the panel but to anyone around. However, I happen to know many electrical engineers who work in union plants and they do in fact work in the electrical panels. But there are specific safety requirements per OSHA as far as what training and personal safety equipment is required. You don't just open up a three phase panel.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well, LS2LS7?, like pointing to CNN or CITING SOURCES as it's called, you too can say whatever you like. Would you like to provide some sources for what you claim? These kinds of activities you describe are grounds for dismissal and it's been increasingly harder for the UAW to protect people who insist these activities.

        You mentioned work rules. I pointed out that they have been largely eliminated. Now you want to bring up activities from the union's militant past. The game goes on...
        • 6 Years Ago
        " Those sorts of efficiency-strangling rules have been negotiated out of contracts over the years.

        The rules that do remain mostly involve legitimate safety concerns, he said, and don't hurt efficiency. For example, fixing an electrical problem still requires a union electrician. "If you are not a trained electrician, you can kill yourself," he said. "That makes sense.""

        You should hear the stories from some co-op engineering students who worked in plants. They couldn't even open a fuse breaker box to see if it had anything in it. It *had* to be done by a union person. Your going to tell me that's for safety reasons? Even the full time engineers who designed these things aren't allowed to do something so simple.

        IMO they make sense to require trained individuals to do the work, but to have to wait for a specific union person is just another thing the company does NOT need.
      Robert Gifford
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well, well, well, and well, It's good to see a squient-eyed rat wagon
      maker start sniffiling. After being helped from their goverments all
      these years, and being pushed by the Bush Adminstration, it does
      my heart good. I have a 2000 buick century that gets 32 miles to the
      gallon and they are pushing their new ones that gets 30 and it is
      eight years later. The Buick and Chevrolet is the best kept secret this
      Country has ever had.
      David Hartwig
      • 6 Years Ago
      I have been in the sales end of the car biz. What has happened is that all of the people that were going to buy a car bought. The people that were going to purchase next year or the year after were purged out by purchasing early due to the incentives and rebates. Now everyone has a car and fewer people need one now. Also when I sold cars a couple of years ago, lots of people were doing the home equity thing. Many people who in my opinion couldn't afford a car payment that large were still given loans. Many customers now have large payments they cant afford and shouldn't have been aproved on in the first place. The auto biz is very greedy. They aren't content on being consistant and getting the same profits every year. They flood the market with Tauras' and Impallas that no one wants. Someone in the car biz needs to look at what nintendo has done marketing the wii. They make fewer than demand and that creates a feeling of getting lucky just to have one.
      Auto makers also haven't a clue what most of us want. They only know which cars make profits and business as usual.
      I want a ford ka. I want a diesel economy car like the rest of the world has in their markets. Big oil, The federal government with crash tests and epa have strangled the car business. Let big oil bail them out. Let them die and lets start over.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @David Hartwig
        Because the majority of the idiots who bought Impalas and Malibus were and are the same morons who think they are good quality cars and would rather buy American for the sake of American than a good quality car from another country...that's how the f*ck they flood the market...along with huge fleet sales and rental car sales.

        Couple that with pathetic resale values and the market will flood with garbage.

        I'm not surprised you have NO f*cking idea...you've clearly demonstrated that over and over again with your one sentence trolling responses all the time.
      • 6 Years Ago
      as a 30 year car wholesaler, I've gotten in many toyota camry's with the rods knocking, and the corollas have bad oil seals which cause the car to use oil at 60k miles, the american public is fooled thinking these sleds are better than american made junk. The thing to remember is, they are all just metal and plastic
      ljbdavis
      • 6 Years Ago
      Happy-Penguin

      If you're still checking this, I should have referred to the NHTSA (not B) which is the US government agency that conducts those crash tests rated with stars (ie: a five-star side impact rating.). It stands for the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

      Of course, when I just tried to google NHTSB, Google asked me if I meant NHTSA, so I'm surprised you couldn't find it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ljbdavis
        Yes I know you meant the NHTSA. I'm very well familiar with them. I was teasing you. Sorry. ;)
      dan
      • 6 Years Ago
      yeah screw the unions lets all go down to the temp agency we can get $7.50 anhour and no benifits or retirment we can just work till we die and live in homeless shelters because you can't buy a house on that salary oh and you might as well forget about job security hay he will work for less yopu fired yeah who needs a union
      • 6 Years Ago
      TOUGH TIMES FOR ALOT OG AUTOMAKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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