Toyota Downsizes Global Sales Estimates
According to The Detroit News, Toyota has walked down its '09 global sales estimates by 700k units, from 10.4m vehicles to 9.7m. This is the second forecast downgrade; a tacit admission by the world's largest automaker that the U.S. sales slump will not experience the rapid recovery its native carmakers have been
praying for predicting. "[Toyota CEO Katsuaki] Watanabe said he saw as 'fundamental' the slowdown in the U.S. market as soaring gas prices not only crimp car purchases but drives an unprecedented shift in consumer demand from trucks to smaller fuel-efficient models." And just like GM's suits, Toyota's big boss tried to apply a coat of green gloss to the loss. "In his annual outlining of the company's business plan, Watanabe tried to sound an upbeat note by promising green vehicles. He said Toyota will speed up the delivery of a plug-in hybrid — which can be plugged into regular household electrical sockets — initially promised for sometime in 2010, to the end of 2009." Meanwhile, "It is forecasting its first full-year profit decline in seven years as it faces more problems from the weakening U.S. market."