While America Slept. Wednesday, February 11th 2009

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
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while america slept wednesday february 11th 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.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Feb 11, 2009

    @Juniper: "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."

  • John R John R on Feb 11, 2009

    Eeeyeesh... 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?

  • 28-Cars-Later "But Assemblyman Phil Ting, the San Franciscan Democrat who wrote the electric school bus legislation, says this is all about the health and wellbeing of Golden State residents. In addition to the normal air pollution stemming from exhaust gasses, he believes children are being exposed to additional carcinogens by just being on a diesel bus."Phil is into real estate, he doesn't know jack sh!t about science or medicine and if media were real it would politely remind him his opinions are not qualified... if it were real. Another question if media were real is why is a very experienced real estate advisor and former tax assessor writing legislation on school busses? If you read the rest of his bio after 2014, his expertise seems to be applied but he gets into more and more things he's not qualified to speak to or legislate on - this isn't to say he isn't capable of doing more but just two years ago Communism&trade; kept reminding me Dr. Fauxi knew more about medicine than I did and I should die or something. So Uncle Phil just gets a pass with his unqualified opinions?Ting began his career as a real estate&nbsp; financial adviser&nbsp;at&nbsp; Arthur Andersen&nbsp;and&nbsp; CBRE. He also previously served as the executive director of the&nbsp; Asian Law Caucus, as the president of the Bay Area Assessors Association, and on the board of&nbsp; Equality California. [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Ting#cite_note-auto-1][1][/url][h3][/h3]In 2005, Ting was appointed San Francisco Assessor-Recorder in 2005 by Mayor&nbsp; Gavin Newsom, becoming San Francisco’s highest-ranking&nbsp; Chinese-American&nbsp;official at the time. He was then elected to the post in November 2005, garnering 58 percent of the vote.Ting was re-elected Assessor-Recorder in 2006 and 2010During his first term in the Assembly, Ting authored a law that helped set into motion the transformation of Piers 30-32 into what would become&nbsp; Chase Center&nbsp;the home of the&nbsp; Golden State Warriorshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Ting
  • RHD This looks like a lead balloon. You could buy a fantastic classic car for a hundred grand, or a Mercedes depreciationmobile. There isn't much reason to consider this over many other excellent vehicles that cost less. It's probably fast, but nothing else about it is in the least bit outstanding, except for the balance owed on the financing.
  • Jeff A bread van worthy of praise by Tassos.
  • Jeff The car itself is in really good shape and it is worth the money. It has lots of life left in it and can easily go over 200k.
  • IBx1 Awww my first comment got deletedTake your “millennial anti theft device” trope and wake up to the fact that we’re the only ones keeping manuals around.