Yesterday we learned that Toyota's financial arm has applied for a $2 billion loan from the Japanese government. One day later comes word that Honda may follow suit. Honda is reportedly looking to borrow $100 million to loan to U.S. customers. The loan may be necessary due to the lack of money flowing through the U.S. financial market; a situation that is hurting all automakers. The financial markets are definitely hurting Honda, too, as the Japanese automaker posted a 38% sales decline for February versus 2008. Only two models in the Honda portfolio posted gains for the month; the fuel efficient Honda Fit and the new for 2009 Acura TSX. The February sales slide caused Honda to lose 4.6% on the Japanese stock exchange.

While the current global sales slide is hurting even the strongest of the world's automakers, some analysts see the situation improving later this year. Atlantis Investment Research Corp. president Edwin Merner in Tokyo told Bloomberg that he foresees vehicle sales improving by the end of the year, barring a further erosion of the global economy.

[Source: Bloomberg, Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty ]


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