Toyota’s new hybrids should have stayed in the lab

June 2, 2015

The carmaker wants to lure more long-term retail investors. Hence its new “Model AA” securities: untradeable convertibles with, oddly, voting rights. They will do little for the company and disadvantage ordinary shareholders. Better hope Japan Inc. doesn’t follow Toyota’s lead.

Tech drive strips old-school carmakers of clout

March 2, 2015

Apple is the latest to take an interest. From Tesla to Google, the shift to connected, self-driving vehicles may take a while, but it could shake up everything from systems to materials to car usage. The winners may be able to rev up returns far higher than current performance.

Japan Inc’s earnings tell worrisome global story

August 7, 2012

Yes, operating profits at the country’s four biggest manufacturers - Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Hitachi - quintupled in the latest quarter as U.S. and in Japanese growth overwhelmed weaker economies in Europe and China. But the post-tsunami rebound is unlikely to last.

New recall narrows Toyota’s recovery window

October 10, 2012

It may take just 40 minutes to replace the gizmo responsible for the Japanese automaker’s latest embarrassment, but with 7.4 million cars to fix, that’s 565 years of mechanic time. With the China boycott, the tsunami, and previous recalls, Toyota’s problems seem never ending.

U.S. auto sales put brakes on economy’s detractors

April 3, 2013

Americans are buying more cars. Cheap loans and pent-up demand are factors. But so is the housing recovery. That and other economic data suggest consumers are looking beyond slimmer paychecks. Federal spending cuts allowing, that means the U.S. engine may be about to purr.

Prius recall puts Toyota troubles into overdrive

February 9, 2010

Toyota's troubles have shifted into overdrive.

Toyota gives Detroit an opening — and a warning

January 28, 2010

Detroit’s Big Three must be breathing a huge sigh of relief. Toyota recently sped past General Motors to become the largest seller of vehicles in the United States.

GM can find small comfort in Toyota’s ride

April 1, 2014

The U.S. automaker recalled more cars and doubled the estimated cost for the first quarter ahead of boss Mary Barra’s Capitol Hill grilling. Even so, Toyota’s recent fiasco suggests the financial fallout should be manageable. GM’s culture will be harder to repair.