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Being a global automaker means having to deal with the rising and falling tides of currency. The climate is particularly difficult in Japan, where the yen is valued at record levels compared to the American dollar. Since a giant chunk of Japanese automotive exports are shipped off to America, that means greatly diminished profits.

You've likely seen plenty of news lately about how Japanese automakers have been affected by the March 11 earthquake in Japan, but what about the rest of the industry? The Detroit News reports that research firm IHS Automotive thinks that global auto production could drop by 30 percent, and nearly every major automaker will be affected.

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