Toyota Motor Corp is to halt production at its Japanese plants for 11 days in February and March as a sharp slide in U.S. sales has left dealers' lots full of unsold cars.
A 37 percent slump in December sales in Toyota's biggest market was its sharpest fall in more than a quarter of a century and worse than declines at struggling U.S. rivals General Motors and Ford Motor.
"I never expected the crisis to spread this fast and leave this deep a scar," Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe told reporters at a Tokyo event hosted by Japan's top business lobbies....MORE
Move over Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co., Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. because there's a carmaker that actually made money in the U.S. last year: Subaru of America Inc.
Subaru registered a 0.3% increase in U.S. sales to 187,699 from 187,208 in 2007. The amount may seem paltry, but in this economy it is enormous. Meanwhile, the Big Three and Toyota saw a sharp decline in U.S. sales forcing them to lay off thousands of workers. The Big Three went so far as to cry poor to Congress asking for bailout money to insure their survival, which Congress eventually granted....