Car companies are part of the corporate identity of Japan, and at the head of the pack is Toyota. With car sales higher than GM, they’re the number one car company in the world. What the economic crisis has taught both America and Japan, however, is that being big isn’t necessarily always best. The newspapers released today the most dismal earnings forecasts that Toyota has had in its 70+ year history.
Yomiuri “850 billion yen for two years” Yomiuri states in their first paragraph that Toyota’s debt forecast will reach a whopping 850 billion yen (8.5 billion dollars), the largest debt on its balance sheet history. According to the Yomiuri, due to the economic slowdown in the world car market, next year’s debt will be twice as much as this year’s.
Nikkei “550 billion yen” The Nikkei paints a very different picture of Toyota, listing their losses as only 550 billion yen (5.5 billion dollars), instead of 850 billion yen. They then cleverly go on to state that if you add the taxes, the total adds up to 850 billion yen. Still, the Nikkei cites factors out of Toyota’s control such as the quick drop in car sales globally and the strong yen that have led it to have such dismal sales forecasts.
Asahi “The Whole Market will Freeze” Asahi also focuses on the 8.5 billion debt figure, and goes further to state that Toyota’s forecast for debt losses will have a ripple effect on the stock market as a whole. They then claim that for Japanese companies, 8.5 million dollars is the largest debt on record. The release of debt will be coupled with effects on the labor market and profits on Toyota’s auto part suppliers, leading to a ripple effect for all Toyota’s sphere of influence.