LR: Toyota Vice Chairman Katsuaki Watanabe, Toyota President Akio Toyoda and Chairman Fujio Cho

Toyota Financial Services has reportedly applied for loans equaling $2 billion (200 billion yen) from the state-backed Japan Bank for International Cooperation. Much of these funds would presumably be used to lend money to new car buyers in the United States, Toyota's largest and most profitable market. If granted, Toyota would join American automakers General Motors and Chrysler on the bailout bandwagon.

Last month, Toyota sold roughly $2 billion (200 billion yen) worth of 10-year bonds at rates much less favorable than what the automaker had previously been accustomed to. That and the aforementioned loan request are actions likely taken to shore up Toyota's falling cash reserves, which some have estimated to be as low as $18.5 billion at the end of January.

It's widely expected that Toyota will post a net loss of as much as $3.5 billion (350 billion yen) for the fiscal year ending in March. This would be the Japanese automaker's first ever operating loss for a full 12-month period, and it further proves how dire the current economic conditions are for all around the globe. Thanks to all who sent this in!

[Source: Bloomberg | Photo by Junko Kimura/Getty]