By on February 11, 2009

An overview of what happened in other parts of the world while you were in bed. TTAC provides round-the-clock coverage of everything that has wheels. Or has its wheels coming off. WAS is being filed from Beijing until further notice.

Japanese bondage: Toyota plans to procure 100 billion yen or so by issuing about 50 billion yen each in five- and 10-year straight bonds as early as this month, the Nikkei [sub]. The issuance of straight bonds will be the automaker’s first since September 2002. The rating on Toyota’s long-term debt has been downgraded by both Moody’s Investors Service Inc. and Standard & Poor’s, each by one notch from the highest grade. This sets Toyota apart from other automakers who are treated by banks like lepers.

Nissan going for greener pastures: Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn talked up plans for mass-producing electric cars in the U.S., Europe and China, the Nikkei [sub] reports. Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga admits that he would like to see Nissan’s electric cars made in Japan. But with the financial crisis crimping Nissan’s ability to raise capital, the US and Europe, which have introduced subsidies for environmentally friendly cars, are more attractive venues. Nissan would be the first Japanese automaker to apply for the US government’s 25 billion dollar program of low-interest loans to develop green cars.

China‘s Top Ten for January: Shanghai Volkswagen replaced FAW VW as the market leader in January with sales hitting 40,000 units, Gasgoo reports, citing data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). The top ten Chinese carmakers in terms of sales in January were Shanghai Volkswagen (40,000), FAW Volkswagen (38,800), Shanghai GM (32,700), Beijing Hyundai (32,600), Dongfeng Nissan (26,300), Chery (25,300), Guangzhou Honda (21,600), Geely (20,400), FAW Toyota (19,200) and BYD (18,600). China’s passenger car sales came to 610,600 units in January, down 7.76 percent from a year earlier, but up 4.44 percent from December 2008, official data shows.

PSA deep in the reds: French PSA reports a loss of €343m for 2008, compared to a gain of €885b in 2007. PSA expects further losses in 2009, Automobilwoche [sub] reports.

EU puts France on notice: The EU Commission warned France to not overstep EU rules with their bailout. “If the help comes with conditions, for instance to keep production in France, then these measures would be illegal and would not be approved by us,” free trade commissar Neelie Kroes said according to Automobilwoche [sub]. The flak from Brussels does not come as a surprise. Those are strong words from Brussels which is usually a bit more diplomatic.

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7 Comments on “While America Slept. Wednesday, February 11th 2009...”

  • avatar

    Toyota raising money? Investing and then securing suppliers for the long haul….

  • avatar
    John R

    “Nissan would be the first Japanese automaker to apply for the U.S. government’s 25 billion dollar program of low-interest loans to develop green cars.”

    So ka…滑りやすい坂を下って行くのですか?

  • avatar

    @ John R

    Something about sliding hills? I wish I’d paid more attention….

  • avatar

    Something about the slippery slope and things going downhill. I gave it to my Japanese wife and she said: “WTF is he talking about?” Then she tried Google translation …. where it probably comes from. Ja ne!

  • avatar

    Please keep us up to date on who handles the Toyota bonds and what return Toyota has to pay.
    If it is less than one percent it is just slightly disguised subsidy.

  • avatar


    “The planned offering will be lead-managed jointly by Nomura Securities Co., Nikko Citigroup Ltd. and Toyota Financial Services Securities Corp. The carmaker, which has already filed a shelf registration of 200 billion yen in bonds, will use the proceeds for technology development and capital spending.”

  • avatar
    John R


    Gomenasai, guys. I hadn’t looked at my Genki text books since college and I’m lazy. I thought the Google translation looked comprehensible enough.

    I was asking if Nissan was going down a slippery slope buy asking for a handout. Oh well. Are there ANY good translators online?

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