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article imageToyota Braces For First Loss in 71 Years

By Michael Squires     Dec 22, 2008 in World
Plummeting sales globally and a surge in the value of the Yen staggers auto giant as it prepares to post a $150 billion (US$1.6Billion) loss for this year.
Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe, said the company now expected to sell 8.96 million vehicles around the world this year, down 4 per cent from the previous year. Toyota, the world's second largest auto maker, reports earnings on a fiscal calendar beginning in April.
The company has said it will cut thousands of temporary workers' jobs at its plants in Japan, but said its full-time employees will be protected.
Japanese car makers have all been hurt by plummeting car sales in their key overseas markets, including the US.
The surging yen has eroded their overseas earnings and also hit their profits - the dollar has fallen to 13-year lows against the Japanese currency.
The drop in vehicle sales over the last month was "far faster, wider and deeper than expected", he said.
Toyota will sell about 1.4 million fewer vehicles globally this fiscal year -- about 7.5 million vehicles in all -- than it did last year. The company's North American sales will be particularly hard-hit, dropping by 250,000 units.
According to BNET Auto Insights,
"That’s an indirect boost for the Detroit Big Three, because it supports their argument that the domestic automakers deserve a U.S. government bailout, in part because the automotive downturn doesn’t apply only to them, and isn’t exclusively their fault."
Even the Prius hybrid saw steep declines, down 48%.
Now, the automaker has decided to delay the production of the popular sedan at a new plant under construction in Mississippi.
The delay is another blow to Auto Workers in the USA
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