TEXT OF STORY
Scott Jagow: A company that’s relatively stable, Toyota, had its debt rating downgraded by Fitch — from Triple-A to double-A. More on that from Marketplace’s Steve Henn.
Steve Henn: The appetite for new cars is awful. Pam Murtaugh a consultant who studies consumer demand says even the best cars aren’t selling.
Pam Murtaugh: To pretend this is a slowdown is a mistake. If this is happening to Toyota, this is the auto industry driving off a cliff.
And the financial crisis hit Toyota twice. Recently, global investors looked for a safe place to stash their cash. Many of them chose Japan, and that pushed up the value of the Yen.
For Japanese exporters like Toyota, a strong Yen is actually bad news. It makes their products more expensive, and that pushes down sales. That’s why Fitch, a credit rating service, cut Toyota’s rating today.
And that make it more expensive for the company to borrow. Toyota stock price fell almost 5 percent in Tokyo on the news.
I’m Steve Henn for Marketplace.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.