By on April 22, 2010

Yabe! (Oh shoot.) As the sun set over Toyota City and Tokyo, Toyota’s execs and Sararimen (salary men) alike were crying in their sake. Today was a sai aku (very bad) day. A day everybody at Toyota most likely would want to forget. No, no recall for a change. There isn’t much left to recall anyway, or so it seems.

The sai aku day started with Moody’s downgrading Toyota’s formerly stellar credit rating to “its lowest-ever level,” as The Nikkei [sub] laments. Moody’s came to the somewhat belated conclusion that “multi-million vehicle recalls and safety issues raise questions about its profitability and ability to stay ahead of rivals on pricing power until 2012 at the earliest.”

To make matters even more sai aku, Moody’s warned that its outlook for the rating remains negative. Why the pessimism?

“The rating action reflects the ongoing low level of profitability evident at Toyota, and which we expect to continue for an extended period,” Tadashi Usui, a Moody’s vice president and senior analyst, said. “Moreover, its product quality and recall challenges–largely centered in the U.S.–have created significant uncertainty over whether it can maintain the pricing power it has historically achieved over its rivals.”

Not sai aku enough? Wait, there is more:

“In coming years, further impacting profitability…will be the litigation costs associated with the recall; and while the size of such costs is hard to quantify, they could be material,” said Usui. “But, for now, its capital and liquidity reserves should be enough to deal with any problems.”

For now.

Minutes after the crummy news were out, Toyota’s shares headed South. The stronger Yen also didn’t help, says The Nikkei [sub].  The share opened at 3,635 Yen,  dropped to 3,580, and closed at 3,600. If anyone still thinks the Yen is undervalued, please buy some quickly and send them my way. I will spend two weeks in Tokyo in May and can use a donation, as my  holdings in dollars and Euros erode.

But wait, that wasn’t all.

To crown the sai aku Thursday, news reached Japan that Toyota nose-dived to 360th place on Forbes magazine’s annual ranking of the world’s leading companies. Last year, they were in third place.

The whole Forbes list is pretty kuso (shitty) as Japanese companies go. The highest-placed Japanese company was NTT, ranked 41st. Only two other Japanese made the top 100. Mitsubishi place 78th and Honda 86th. And the crowning kuso on a day that shall live in infamy?

China’s Industrial and Commercial Bank a fifth place. Yes, the bank with those non-performing loans. China Construction Bank Corp., the bank that sits on the real estate bubble, ranks 17th, right behind Berkshire Hathaway and Gazprom.

Ford is the top ranking car company at place 58, followed by Honda (86), Hyundai (188) and BMW (197)

US car makers General Motors and Chrysler, which are currently turning around their businesses after filing for bankruptcy protection last year, were absent from the list.

Germany’s Daimler was ranked 388th “and Volkswagen dropped off the list due to the complexity surrounding its 2009 merger with Porsche,” writes AFP.

In case you want to know, a bank, yes, a U.S. bank, JPMorgan Chase tops the list, removing GE from the top spot. 6 out of the top 10 companies are banks. Remember banks?

Japan’s executives consoled themselves with the fact that China’s SAIC landed on #734, and hit the futon.

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17 Comments on “Yabe! Another Shitty Day At Toyota...”

  • avatar

    “Sararimen?” Seriously? That’s about as Jingrish as they come.

  • avatar

    Sararimen (salary men)? Really?

    Oops…..someone beat me to it. Reminds me of my Chinese probability professor discussing election results.

  • avatar

    • 0 avatar

      We used to have guys like these at work, only we called them batmen because of their utility belts……loaded with pager, palm pilot, cell phone(when they were double the size of now), a million keys to nothing….smartphones have driven them into extinction.

  • avatar

    Name one person that got rich by following Moody’s advice.

  • avatar

    Sararimen reminds me of my Taiwanese boss at Bendix back in the mid to late 90’s.

    Upon his return from vacation, “Fred (his US nickname), where did you go on vacation? – “Honoruru!”.

    Getting his landscaping redone, “They had to chop down a Corolado Brue Spluce”.

    He was late for work once due to “A rieky lim in his cal”.

    Had to take the day off once due to “Reaky loof at my house”.

    And the best – while the building was getting remodeled, laboratory was getting dusty. Fled .. ooops Fred asked me to, “Paur, can you get a lag and crean this loom?”

    I don’t mean this in a deragotory way … I loved that guy … best boss ever

  • avatar

    Those involved with getting the food from the fields that feed the masses and allow the wealthy to specialize to maximize their wealth still, at least within the USA, are required to work more than 60 hours weekly to obtain over-time pay and rare is the worker who receives any benefits other than pay.

    Yes, I am aware of worker’s comp and a few other bennies but have you ever been one of the working poor attempting to use worker’s comp? The horror stories abound that are rarer among those from a higher position upon the socio-economic pyramid.

  • avatar

    If you’ve ever wanted to get some Toyota stock, the following months would be ideal, as all the sheep dump theirs at a loss.

    • 0 avatar

      Let me think now,…..hows that go …hmmmm,…..something about money and mouth? Or maybe keyboard and cash.

      Invest your life savings, man. After all Toyota is a perfect car company making perfect cars.

  • avatar

    Minami Ke FTW

    Toyota not so much

  • avatar


    I’m married to one. See the kid on my knee? My niece.

    Every day, I say to my beautifuru wife: “I rove you so much!” Murtipre times.

    Then she makes me (I’m German) say “Why is the Visa card so weird?” and all is good.

    The salary man is called sarariman, can’t help it. Merrill Lynch is Merrirulinchi. McDonald’s is Makudonarudo. And Starbucks is Sutaba.

    Now guess how they laugh when we say “Sumo wrestler” – In Japanese, it sounds more like “small wrestler.”

    We need to be very careful with the “racist” term. Except in Japan. Where they have “No foreigners” signs at many bars.

    Youls trury, Schmitto-san

    • 0 avatar


      Just took a look at the pic you posted. Bertel’s wife FTW!. I see you married up.

      “We need to be very careful with the “racist” term. ”

      Indeed. There is nothing wrong with poking light hearted fun at generalities, as long as you know they are not always true. As an Italian American I should know. And you should hear the Cuban jokes my wife tells (yes, she is Cuban). I heard that this is a joke told in Japan:

      Q. What do you call someone who speaks 3 languages?
      A. Tri-lingual.

      Q. What do you call someone who speaks 2 languages?
      A. Bi-lingual.

      Q. What do you call someone who speaks 1 language?
      A. An American!

      I LOL the first time I heard it. Now, do I think that there are no Americans who can speak a foreign language? As my high school German teacher would say Nein natürlich! But it’s still generally true.

  • avatar

    I don’t see it…

  • avatar

    I read an article yesterday on the LA times.. about the issues over at Moodys and Standard Poor..

    These companies make their living by ironing out the issues and rating the credit scores of large business’ like the auto industry.

    These same yahoos.. haven’t YET ONCE downgraded the credit of Wall ST, because they were pressured not to.,0,3527232.story

    Which leads me to my next question…
    For the past 5yrs, the domestic auto industry hasn’t made much money at all, since ’05, and they’ve been downgraded almost regularly (every qtr or so). Now, I haven’t seen any upgrade in their credit at all.

    Which makes me want to know… what the hell is going on here.

    Is Moody / S&P slacking off?

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