More unsold inventory piling up: Toyota stores unsold cars aboard ship

Discuss

53 Responses to “More unsold inventory piling up: Toyota stores unsold cars aboard ship”

  1. mr_josh says:

    Damn those American car compan… oh.

  2. zuzu says:

    Agreed. I only mention computers because, especially as they were first popularized, I know many people couldn’t wrap their minds around the idea of buying something that’s always getting cheaper and better.

    But paying $5000 for a 486-DX2 66MHz desktop in 1992 meant I could do things then (i.e. time preference) that I couldn’t do if I waited until now to buy a $300 netbook that’s probably 30x more powerful (according to the bogomips I could quickly google). (Which is almost exactly what borrowing is: spending more in total to have what you want sooner.)

    People still buy what they need during a deflationary period; they’re just more cautious because they’re compensating for the waste of malinvestment during the inflationary period.

  3. zuzu says:

    Seamus: better it be unbelievable pain, rather than inconceivable pain.

    “He didn’t fall?! Inconceivable!

  4. michaelc says:

    Ugly Canuck: to get an umlaut on a Mac, type Option-u, then the character. For example: Malmö.

  5. SeamusAndrewMurphy says:

    So, we’re in agreement then; The horrible future will, lucky for us, be limited to UNBELIEVABLE PAIN!

    Wallace Shawn should not delve into economic forecasting if that clip is, in the least, revelatory.

  6. Nelson.C says:

    Pork @2: Because clearly this isn’t an emergency, it’s a catastrophe.

  7. consideredopinion says:

    Next we’ll see a rash of “cargo lost at sea” insurance claims…

  8. PFlint says:

    emergency ~ crisis
    emergent ~ urgent
    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=emergency

    Canuck, while I find your argument to be cogent, I’ll go with these respected references for the meaning of the word in action.

    Now,
    I’d pay $14k for a fully loaded Corolla, out the door. Can I get this deal?

  9. Ugly Canuck says:

    MichaelC: Danke schön.
    As to dictionaries, I use the Oxford: may not quite match up with N.American usage:
    Jacket image of the Compact Oxford English Dictionary

    emergency

    • noun (pl. emergencies) 1 a serious, unexpected, and potentially dangerous situation requiring immediate action. 2 before another noun arising from or used in an emergency: an emergency exit. 3 N. Amer. the casualty department in a hospital.

    — ORIGIN Latin emergentia, from emergere ‘emerge’.

    I note the use of the conjunctive ‘and’; not the word ‘or’, in Definition #1 above: also the Latin root.

  10. Taro 3Yen.com says:

    Rejoice! Poor Japan is doomed.
    All you folks in the Real World (not Japan) are clueless to the fact that a f**king FIFTY percent of Japanese factory lines at this moment are not moving.
    For example, I observe that since December not a SINGLE ITEM of inventory at the mega-factories of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Sugamihara), or Mitsubishi Truck (Shin-Kawasaki) has moved out to the already packed storage yards (more than 1.5 sqkm) and they are now stacking stuff on top of each other (damaging inventory). Most of the staff in most companies like NSK (bearings) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries spending most of their day wandering on the factory grounds picking up trash.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Did anyone else notice the huge problems with oil spills and pipeline leaks when the price of oil was in freefall?

    The people who run the markets know how to game the system they wrote — this is bad insofar as it keeps the rich fat and the poor thin, but good insofar as it seeks to avoid true catastrophic collapse.

    Inflation and deflation are simply a game played by bankers to pretend that our serfdom is to the money itself, instead of them. It’s so we don’t rise up and kill them.

  12. dimmer says:

    In addition to the Option U followed by keystroke, you can also use “Edit: Special Characters” (Command Alt T) to find any accented character you like. Like the Option U, this should work in any application with text editing.

  13. W. James Au says:

    Man, conspicuous consumption really seems disgusting until people stop consuming. Turns out I actually dislike that less that conspicuous *under*-consumption.

  14. TroofSeeker says:

    Dear Toyota:
    This is terrible! How can I help? Wait- I know. I can store two of them in my driveway indefinately. Please provide keys so I can… rotate the tires periodically?

  15. Keeper of the Lantern says:

    And what happens when that ship gets full?

    Will they start dumping the Toyotas into the ocean?

  16. Oshkosh John says:

    Two solutions . . .
    1. Destroy them by either shredding them or throwing them into the ocean.
    2. Dutch Auction.

  17. Gag Halfrunt says:

    oops – since these guys are off Malmo (I thought the Santa Monica pier was involved here; but that’s the octopus story) US anti-dumping does not come into play to prevent any drop to the clearance price.
    Don’t know if the Swedes or EU play the “anti-dumping” card.

    The cars might be made in the EU anyway. The Toyota Auris and Avensis are made in Britain and the Yaris is made in France.

  18. zuzu says:

    It’s an emergency measure that we had to take due to storage space issues

    (emphasis added)

    Producers will have to lower their prices to what consumers will bear to clear inventory, same as it ever was.

    (This goes both ways: such as with unemployment and the problems price floors cause.)

  19. pork musket says:

    How is calling something an emergency “downplaying” it?

  20. cbuchner1 says:

    Sink ship, collect insurance money, profit!!!

  21. zuzu says:

    Sink ship, collect insurance money, profit!!!

    Credit Default Swap much? ;)

  22. Anonymous says:

    Who *wants* a Toyota?!
    They are moving quicker on the ship than Toyota drivers, drive them. /

  23. someguyyouvenevermet says:

    People DO want the cars they just can’t afford them.

  24. Purly says:

    free cars? I’ll take one.

  25. paulehoffman says:

    That’s Malmö (the ‘o’ has an umlaut). Spelling is spelling, particularly when we are talking about major cities.

  26. zuzu says:

    @5 someguyyouvenevermet

    See post #1.

  27. technogeek says:

    #5: … Or can afford them but aren’t _convinced_ they can afford them. My cashflow situation really hasn’t changed since last year — I’ve already made the one purchase which might require tapping my deep reserves, and my job is as stable as can be expected — but I’m still being a bit more cautious about my spending just because it feels a bit scary out there.

    Which is exactly the mindset the government’s trying to break. Until people feel comfortable spending, it’s hard to break the cycle… and until banks feel comfortable lending (to those who are clearly good risks, at least) people aren’t going to feel comfortable spending much.

    I start to believe that the answer is for the government to threaten to get into the direct consumer/business loan biz, which would put a serious scare into the banks…

  28. Brainspore says:

    Zuzu, you can’t call something an “emergency measure” without acknowledging the existence of an emergency.

  29. papercup mixmaster says:

    This really sounds like the hook for a) an only mildly interesting episode of some international crime show (a la Alias); b) an actually somewhat interesting subplot in a contemporary William Gibson-esque; or c) a pretty fun d20 Modern adventure.

  30. Elvis Pelt says:

    I was driving in Sunnyvale the other day and the entire parking lot of a defunct Lucky’s was filled with Priuses (Priusi?). So, if you’ve got cash (a big if) you can bullwhip a Toyota dealer these days.

  31. Takuan says:

    they’ll crush them in the end.

  32. Ugly Canuck says:

    CBuchner: but then your future insurance rates may go up, if you canget it at all.
    And if Toyota is self-insured, or insured via a subsidiary…
    Drop the price, and the US automakers will allege dumping, right?

  33. grimatongueworm says:

    #3 – Is your name Gob? :-)

  34. Oleg says:

    I heard that Toyota cuts 50% of cars production and shorten work week. Current financial crisis is a real disaster for automotive industry.

  35. TroofSeeker says:

    Our less-than-handsome Canadian friend said:
    “emergency” is often mistakenly taken to mean “urgent want”.
    Correctly used, it refers to an unforeseen situation arising, as if it is emerging out of the water.”

    Am I the only one who had a vision of Godzilla rising from Tokyo Bay behind a thousand Japanese people running away in their underwear?

  36. Takuan says:

    Toyota Tells Suppliers Production Cut 20% in 2009, Nikkei Says
    By Patrick Rial

    Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) — Toyota Motor Corp. informed its suppliers at a meeting yesterday that it plans to cut auto production globally by 20 percent to about 6.2 million vehicles this financial year, the Nikkei newspaper reported.

    The company hasn’t released an official production target for the year ending March 2010, because turmoil in global markets has made forecasting difficult, the newspaper said. Calls to the company’s headquarters were not answered.

  37. Ugly Canuck says:

    Maybe the guys at Toyota keep them on board ship for fear that these sorts of things may start happening:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=auZeM63nrgzo&refer=news

    But around here, they usually torch them after going on a joy ride first.

  38. zuzu says:

    Who *wants* a Toyota?!

    Toyota and Honda are the most reliable cars on the market, and modestly priced.

    Cars are a conveyance, remember?

    Zuzu, you can’t call something an “emergency measure” without acknowledging the existence of an emergency.

    I dunno… wearing a bathing suit to the laundromat because you’ve run out of clean underwear is an “emergency measure” but not really an emergency.

    Which is exactly the mindset the government’s trying to break. Until people feel comfortable spending, it’s hard to break the cycle… and until banks feel comfortable lending (to those who are clearly good risks, at least) people aren’t going to feel comfortable spending much.

    Narrow-minded attention to the “vicious cycle” ignores the greater reality that deflation is necessary to correct for a previous decade of inflation.

    Deflation is a good thing. Just look at what Moore’s Law has done for us with computers.

    Deflation is also exactly what we should expect from ever-continuing improvements in enterprise and manufacturing technology.

  39. zuzu says:

    The company hasn’t released an official production target for the year ending March 2010, because turmoil in global markets has made forecasting difficult,

    Yet, adapting to the inherent uncertainty of the future is exactly why we have markets.

    If we could know the future in advance, then communism would actually work.
    (And if wishes were horses, we’d all be eating steak.)

  40. Ugly Canuck says:

    oops – since these guys are off Malmo (I thought the Santa Monica pier was involved here; but that’s the octopus story) US anti-dumping does not come into play to prevent any drop to the clearance price.
    Don’t know if the Swedes or EU play the “anti-dumping” card.

  41. Suburbancowboy says:

    It’s just a flesh wound.

  42. SeamusAndrewMurphy says:

    Great, Oil Contango isn’t enough, now we get Toyota Contango…. or not, these clunkers will probably never see higher prices.

    Zuzu, the sort of deflation we’re seeing isn’t the Moore’s law sort. We are not seeing deflation due to technological efficiencies, rather it is due to a collapse of debt. And that type of deflation is a very-very bad thing. Our current deflation makes yesterday’s debts harder to pay, not easier.

    The technological sort of deflation leads to greater productivity and economic growth, the deleveraging sort leads to starvation.

    How lucky we are to have reaped the benefit of a paradigm that in the last 35 years repeated the oh-so successful paradigm that existed in the first 35 years of the twentieth century.

  43. Ugly Canuck says:

    Emergency?
    What is it that is emerging?
    “Urgent” is one thing, “emergent” another:
    “emergency” is often mistakenly taken to mean “urgent want”.
    Correctly used, it refers to an unforeseen situation arising, as if it is emerging out of the water.
    It is the unforseen nature of the circumatnce which has arisen, that makes it an emergency.
    Hence, Zuzu’s swimsuit-to-the-laundry is not nay type of “emergency”, as it was readily foreseeable that one would need to wear something to the laundry.
    But if a plane should fall on one’s house, and one flees in one’s underwear, well, that’s an emergency.
    Oh yes I am well aware of Malmo’s umlaut: I just don’t know how to create one on my keyboard.
    Sadly, I was unprepared for such an emergency.

  44. zuzu says:

    Zuzu, the sort of deflation we’re seeing isn’t the Moore’s law sort. We are not seeing deflation due to technological efficiencies, rather it is due to a collapse of debt. And that type of deflation is a very-very bad thing. Our current deflation makes yesterday’s debts harder to pay, not easier.

    That’s a problem for the lenders more than it is the debtors. They’ll refinance when you threaten to default.

    Besides, what ever happened to saving? Remember when people used to save money to buy things? Deflation for those of us who aren’t slaves to credit (i.e. live within our means) makes everything more affordable, and steadily increases the value of our income.

    Regardless, what we prefer is rather irrelevant to the fundamental economic analysis. A history of inflation caused by excessive cheap credit must eventually be corrected by corresponding deflation.

  45. adsum says:

    My brother-in-law is a longshoreman in Seattle. He spends much of his day loading foreign cars back onto car carriers.

  46. Ugly Canuck says:

    Me no use Windows: break too easy.
    On Mac?

  47. SeamusAndrewMurphy says:

    Zuzu, I’m not attempting to inflame an argument for argument’s sake, so please don’t take offense:

    Savers will be punished.

    Lenders will be punished.

    Debtors will be punished.

    The level of insane leverage that has occurred won’t leave anyone pain-free. That is why I pointed to the difference in “deflations”.

    I’m not a slave to credit. I won’t go into details, but I’ve put my family through hoops to stay out of debt in anticipation of this mess. So, I’m no apologist. Your statement about excessive credit being corrected is absolutely right. I’m merely pointing out that the level that will be corrected will result in unbelievable pain (likely anyway, I think),not garden variety. And that a deflation due to a massive contraction in global credit (our current problem) has nothing to do with price decreases from technological innovation and economies of scale. It isn’t “apples to oranges”, it’s “apples to cancer”.

  48. Ugly Canuck says:

    Seamus: better it be unbelievable pain, rather than inconceivable pain.

Leave a Reply