2009 Toyota CamryEnlarge Photo
Speaking of GM's horrendous sales numbers, Toyota senior managing director Yasuhiko Ichihashi said: "We don't see it as an opportunity." He stated very clearly that he and his company want GM to return to health and profitability as soon as possible.
Toyota shares parts suppliers with General Motors and if those suppliers are under financial strain, the effect is quickly felt by the Japanese giant that has multiple U.S. manufacturing facilities. Detroit news added that a collapse of GM would "likely depress consumer sentiment," presumably something Toyota also considered.
How bad is Toyota feeling the pain of auto market woes right now? Well, the company is expecting its first annual loss since 1950 for the fiscal year that concluded in March. We'd say the pain is quite acute. A strong yen has only compounded their own troubles and sales losses.
Ichihashi is cautiously optimistic that the precipitous sales drop has reached the bottom, as U.S. auto sales in March (857,735 vehicles) were up 25 percent from the month prior. Still, March's figure represents a 37 percent drop in sales from that month one year ago.
[source: Detroit News]