H/t reader squodgy:
“Do you think you get a FREE Rothschild donated Toyota Pickup if you sign up for ISIS?”
Looks like it …
… and new shoes …
… and a religion …
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H/t reader kevin a:
“This is an Amazing engine.”
Toyota is hot on hydrogen fuel cells for its next-generation cars, but it’s not going cold on internal combustion just yet.
The company’s R&D division has developed a Free Piston Engine Linear Generator that can convert gasoline and other fuels into electricity more efficiently than existing systems.
It’s a technology that could lead to lighter, more efficient, better-packaged powertrains for plug-in hybrid cars.
The little machine is four inches tall and costs £300
Toyota has created a tiny robot baby that it hopes can make lonely people more happy.
The company’s Kirobo Mini is meant to help provide a companion. It looks like a baby – and could even serve that purpose for people in Japan, where it will be sold and where falling birth rates mean there are fewer and fewer children.
The little robot is four inches tall, speaks like a baby and will cost £300 when it goes on sale. It is a small version of the original Kirobo robot – which had a lot more capabilities and was sent into space in 2013.
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– German cars ‘among worst for engine failures’ (Auto Express, Jan 18, 2013):
German-made cars are not as reliable as many believe, according to new research. Warranty Direct has studied its claims data to compile a list of the manufacturers with the most reliable engines – and Audi, BMW and Volkswagen all finished in the bottom 10 out of a total 36 makers.
In fact, the only firm whose cars had a worse engine failure rate than Audi was MG Rover. MINI wasn’t much better, finishing third from bottom, while its parent company BMW came seventh from bottom. And, despite its reputation for rock-solid reliability, Volkswagen came ninth from bottom.
The Car Coach Lauren Fix on why ‘E15’ gas could damage drivers’ vehicles older than 2012 models.
– Japanese Businesses Shuttering Chinese Facilities As Mainland Anger Spreads (ZeroHedge, Sep 17, 2012):
When you have central planners printing inverse-wealth (because money printing dilution by definition means less wealth for everyone), who needs that cornerstone of old school economics: trade. Certainly not Japan (which has been diluting its futures to prosperity for the past 30 years and somehow failing each and every time) and China, both of which are now starting to feel the consequences of the collapse in political relations as a result of the senseless spat of the Senkaku Islands (recorded in its full visual glory here). As the NYT reports, “major Japanese companies closed factories in China and urged expatriate workers to stay indoors Monday, after angry protests flared over a territorial dispute, which threatened to hurt trade ties between the two biggest Asian economies.” What does the idiotic escalation in unprovoked Japanese tensions over a rock in the East China Sea (note: not West Japan Sea) for the bottom line of Japan? In a word: Lots.
“Increasing tensions further Monday, the Chinese state media warned Japan that it could suffer another “lost decade” if trade ties soured. China and Japan generated two-way trade worth $345 billion last year, and China is the biggest single trading partner of Japan. Protests broke out across dozens of Chinese cities over the weekend, some violent, in response to the Japanese government’s decision last week to buy some of the disputed islands from a private Japanese owner.”
To summarize: in the past week alone, Japan has already suffered about $7 billion in lost benefit from trade as the trade relations between the two countries have frozen. But at least Japan’s nationalistic pride is content: after all it managed to put up its flag on some completely meaningless island in the middle of nowhere, containing zero natural resources. Luckily for everyone, the central planners who are now in charge of everything, have a much better grasp on things.
More from the NYT:
The protests focused mainly on Japanese diplomatic missions but also struck shops, restaurants and car dealerships in at least five cities. Toyota and Honda reported that arson attacks had badly damaged their stores in Qingdao.
– Postcards From A Furious China (ZeroHedge, Sep 17, 2012)
Japan will ‘crash’:
Thirteen high-end sports car owners – and one driver of a Toyota Prius – were probably close to tears last night after a £2.5million motorway pile-up.
Toyota’s U.S. manufacturing arm is preparing for a possible shutdown because of parts shortages from Japan, a Toyota spokesman said. Word has gone out to all 13 of Toyota’s factories in the United States, Canada and Mexico. This does not mean that the plants will stop working, Toyota spokesman Mike Goss said, but that they should be ready in case the need arises.
“We expect some kind of interruptions,” he said.
While Toyota’s car factories in Japan have stopped working since the March 11 earthquake in Japan, the automaker was able to resume production of some auto parts on March 17.
Toyota employs 25,000 manufacturing and R&D workers in North America.
Japan’s big three carmakers today reported a dramatic fall in production as the auto industry counts the cost of plummeting global demand.
Toyota, the world’s biggest carmaker, said global production dropped 39.1% in January from a year earlier to 487,984 vehicles. Honda reported a fall of 33.5% worldwide to 226,551 vehicles and Nissan 54% to 145,286.
The global economic crisis has ravaged demand in major markets, forcing Japan’s carmakers to slash production and lay off thousands of workers.
Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) — Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest carmaker, will slash domestic production 54 percent in the current quarter as demand plunges in the U.S. and Japan.
Its electronic gadgetry is gathering dust on the shelves of high street stores, nobody is buying new fridges and the mountain of unsold plasma televisions is growing by the day.
However, in desperation, Panasonic has hit on the perfect counter-attack against the consumer slump: it has ordered every member of staff to go out and buy £1,000 of Panasonic products.
Large swathes of corporate Japan are expected to follow suit, either by directly commanding or indirectly “pressuring” employees to divert part of their salaries towards the goods that their employers produce.
Toyota has already tacitly applauded a “voluntary” scheme in which 2,200 of its top brass decided to buy new Toyota cars, and the president of Fujitsu recently e-mailed 100,000 staff and gently pointed out how nice it would be if “employee ownership rates” of Fujitsu PCs and mobile phones were a little higher.
The 10,000 Japanese staff affected by Panasonic’s unorthodox strategy do not have long to consider their purchases.
Management insists that staff buy their Panasonic goods – whether they need them or not – by the end of July.
Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) — Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest automaker, will freeze wages and offer voluntary redundancy to plant workers in North America for the first time as the company widens output cuts to adjust for slumping demand.
The company will cut pay for factory executives and eliminate bonuses for all salaried employees, Toyota said in an e-mailed statement late yesterday. The Toyota City, Japan-based carmaker is making further cuts in its assembly schedule for April, and creating a “job-sharing” program to reduce work hours at some plants, spokesman Mike Goss said.
Since passing General Motors Corp. in global sales last year, Toyota has forecast its first operating loss in 71 years as the global recession cripples demand for its Camry sedans and Tundra pickups. Toyota posted a 32 percent U.S. sales drop in January and has already announced plans to reduce output at its plants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
TOYOTA CITY, Japan (CNN) — On what was to be a historic day halting all of Toyota’s Japanese assembly lines, the automaker announced late Thursday that it kept one line running.
The late news sent copy editors and reporters to their laptops erasing headlines like “historic shutdown,” but it did little to quell the pain for the tens of the thousands of workers idled across Japan as nearly every Toyota line stopped producing autos and auto-related equipment.
Nowhere was the silence more deafening than in Toyota City, home and birthplace to Toyota Motor Corp.. Factories were shuttered and workers idled in an attempt to bring production in line with falling global demand.
The day was particularly ominous for assembly line worker Takayuki Yoshikawa, who has already been told he’s out of a job and back home in May. Yoshikawa lives in a Toyota-owned dormitory.
“I don’t know what to do,” said Yoshikawa. “I could go back to my hometown, but there are no jobs there, either.”
Toyota, now the world’s largest automaker, plans 10 more days like this, spread out over the next two months. Toyota’s incoming president, Akio Toyoda, called the current economy “unprecedented, the likes of which haven’t been seen in 100 years.”
– Jim Rogers: ‘UK has nothing to sell’ (Financial Times):
“The City of London is finished, the financial centre of the world is moving east.”
– The Obama Stimulus Plan Won’t Work (Lew Rockwell)
– SERIOUSLY ALARMED (Telegraph):
(Even Mr. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard is now alarmed!)
– King paves way to start Bank print presses (Times Online)
– Sterling hits 23-year low against dollar (Financial Times)
– Geithner pledges ‘dramatic’ action (Financial Times)
– Portugal says S&P downgrade due to global crisis (Reuters)
– Singapore Economy May Post Biggest Decline on Record (Bloomberg)
– Emerging markets face $180 bn investment decline (Business Standard)
– BHP Billiton to cut 6000 jobs and close mine (Times Online)
– Eaton to Cut 5200 Jobs in a 2nd Wave of Reductions (Bloomberg)
– Record redundancies push unemployment to 1.92 million (Times Online)
– Ex-Scots bankers could face Holyrood inquiry (Times Online)
– Ireland’s Banks Sink With Decline of ‘Celtic Tiger’ (Bloomberg)
– Patrick Rocca, ‘poster boy’ of Ireland’s Celtic Tiger, kills himself (Times Online)
– Bankers accused in crisis could face trials in US (Guardian)
– Hedge Fund Run by Ex-Car Salesman Is Scam, SEC Says (Bloomberg)
– Federal Home Loan Banks may have to borrow from US (Los Angeles Times)
– Merrill Clients Pulled $10 Billion in Fourth Quarter (Bloomberg)
– Toyota Tops GM in Global Car Sales in 2008 (Washington Post)
– Citigroup Makes Stock Incentive Awards to Executives (Bloomberg)
“We don’t know how much further the global economy will slide,” Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe told reporters in Tokyo yesterday. “Car demand is falling from leading countries to emerging markets.”
Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) — Toyota Motor Corp., Japan’s largest automaker, will suspend some domestic production for 11 days in February and March, as the global recession saps car demand.
Output at 12 domestic factories will be halted, company spokesman Hideaki Homma said today by phone, confirming an earlier NHK television report. The cut may reduce Toyota’s production by about 200,000 units, according to Koji Endo, an analyst at Credit Suisse Securities (Japan) Ltd.
Toyota, which expects its first operating loss in 71 years, is cutting production, as its sales last month plunged 37 percent in the U.S. and 18 percent in Japan. The company last month cut its sales forecast by 8.5 percent to 7.54 million vehicles for the year ending March 31.
“The company has no other choice but to widen production cuts, should sales keep falling further,” said Endo, who has an “underperform” rating on the stock. “Toyota needs to reduce inventory.”
Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) — General Motors Corp.’s U.S. sales plunged to a 49-year low in 2008, dragged down by a 31 percent slide in December as demand was ravaged by the recession and concern that the biggest domestic automaker might collapse.
Toyota Motor Corp.’s U.S. deliveries plummeted 37 percent last month, while Honda Motor Co. slipped 35 percent, Ford Motor Co. fell 32 percent and Nissan Motor Co. was down 31 percent, pointing toward the industry’s worst annual volume since 1992. Chrysler LLC dived 53 percent.
– Auto sales plunge again in December (CNN)
– Bleak US sales in December cap a grim year for automaker (IHT)
– US Auto Sales Plunge Whopping 36 Percent in Dec. (AP)
The federal rescue of GM and Chrysler couldn’t overcome buyer pessimism and tight credit in the world’s biggest auto market. Ford’s 2008 U.S. sales sagged to a 47-year low, while GM’s total of 2.95 million light vehicles was the least since 1959, according to trade publication Automotive News.
“It’s one of the worst years ever, and this year will be worse,” said Stephanie Brinley, an analyst at consulting firm AutoPacific Inc. in Southfield, Michigan. “It’s not a gas problem. It’s not a credit problem. It’s a consumer confidence problem, and it’s worldwide.”
GM and Chrysler received commitments last month for as much as $17.4 billion in U.S. loans, saying they would have run short of operating cash by this month.
GM’s results last month beat the average estimate of a 41 percent drop among six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. Tempering the decline was a 43 percent surge in deliveries of the Chevrolet Malibu sedan. Sales of GM’s Saab brand, which the Detroit-based automaker says it may sell, fell 57 percent.
U.S. Market Share
Thanks to bigger declines throughout 2008, the U.S. automakers will likely mark the first calendar year where their combined market share was less than 50 percent, based on results through November, when they held 47 percent.
The drop in full-year U.S. sales for Toyota and Honda were the first for the Japanese automakers since 1995 and 1993, respectively.
Toyota failed to get a boost from no-interest loans offered on most of its models since Oct. 2. Sales of its Prius hybrid, the best-selling gasoline-electric car in the U.S., declined 45 percent. The Tundra full-size pickup dropped 52 percent, while Toyota’s Lexus luxury brand finished the month down 32 percent.
Industrywide U.S. sales extended a streak of declines of at least 25 percent dating to September. Vehicle sales for the year likely will total slightly more than 13 million, based on estimates from a Bloomberg News survey of 22 analysts and economists.
While that annual total would be the lowest in 16 years, it doesn’t reflect the steepening slide in U.S. auto demand.
Last month’s seasonally adjusted annual sales rate probably was 10 million, a 39 percent decline, based on the Bloomberg survey. The November rate was 10.2 million, and annual sales for all of 2007 were 16.1 million.
“We are at the bottom now,” said Tom Libby, an automotive analyst at consumer-research firm J.D. Power & Associates in Troy, Michigan. “People have just stopped buying and I don’t blame them. When you have such a decline in savings and net worth, it just doesn’t surprise me sales have fallen so much.”
Sales of Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz and Smart minicar fell 24 percent in December. Volkswagen AG was down 14 percent, while its Audi unit was off 9.3 percent. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG’s sales of BMW- and Mini-brand autos fell 36 percent.
U.S. jobless rolls reached a 26-year high in the week ended Dec. 20, signaling a worsening labor market as the economy heads into the second year of a recession. That weakness adds to the strain on automakers after record fuel prices in 2008’s first half damped demand for full-size pickups and sport-utility vehicles.
President-elect Barack Obama has made an economic stimulus package his top priority, and he told reporters today in Washington that the nation faces an “extraordinary challenge” in reviving growth.
“The sooner stimulus efforts find their way to where they’ll do the most good — into the hands of consumers — the sooner we’ll see a turnaround in confidence levels and a return of buyers to the marketplace,” Jim Lentz, president of Toyota’s U.S. sales unit, said in a statement today.
December’s plunge may have been eased by the resumption of low-cost financing from GM last week, auto-research firm Edmunds.com said, citing a surge in vehicle inquiries on its site and dealer surveys.
Ford’s U.S. sales were “strong” in the last two weeks of December, Executive Vice President Mark Fields told reporters today in Dearborn, Michigan, where the automaker is based. Ford discounted its remaining F-150 pickups from the 2008 model year after a redesigned version debuted in October.
GM, Chrysler Rescue
Consumer concern that Detroit-based GM and Auburn Hills, Michigan-based Chrysler would fail to get government aid and be forced into bankruptcy may have contributed to December’s slump, Patrick Archambault, a Goldman, Sachs & Co. analyst based in New York, said in a Dec. 28 research note.
President George W. Bush announced Dec. 19 that GM and Chrysler would get the emergency loans in exchange for restructuring their businesses. GM had said it might run out of operating funds by the end of 2008, while Chrysler had said it might fall short by the middle of this month.
GM had resisted demands by some U.S. lawmakers that it file for bankruptcy instead of pursuing federal loans, saying buyers wouldn’t trust a car company under court protection.
To contact the reporters on this story: Mike Ramsey in Southfield, Michigan, at email@example.com; Alan Ohnsman in Los Angeles at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Updated: January 5, 2009 15:22 EST
By Mike Ramsey and Alan Ohnsman
Dec. 26 (Bloomberg) — Japan’s industrial production fell the most in at least five years in November after exports dropped by a record.
Factory output tumbled 8.1 percent from October, when it dropped 3.1 percent, the Trade Ministry said today in Tokyo. The median estimate of 36 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 6.8 percent decline.
Plunging demand for cars and electronics is prompting companies to pare output, jobs and investment. Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co., Japan’s three largest carmakers, cut global production in November and chipmaker Renesas Technology Corp. yesterday said it would eliminate all of its 1,000 temporary workers.
“The recession is showing signs of growing longer and more severe,” said Tetsufumi Yamakawa, chief Japan economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in London. “Production is showing stronger signs of a correction in conjunction with a slump in demand in Japan and abroad.”