Toyota delays sports car and idles Prius plans
The U.S. auto companies are not the only ones feeling the pinch of the global economic slowdown. Everyone from Jaguar to Toyota is increasingly against the financial ropes. A couple weeks ago we were hopeful that the surprise Subaru had announced for the Detroit Auto Show would be the its version of the small sports car joint project with Toyota. Later we found out it was just the new Legacy concept. Now we have to wonder if the Celica-sized sports car will ever see the light of day.
Toyota is buying up stock in Subaru’s parent company Fuji Heavy Industries, and was using this interest to create a rear-wheel drive, Legacy-based coupe. The car was supposed to break cover in 2009, but it now seems that car is delayed until 2012. In today’s speak, any project delayed two or more years as good as an indefinite hold.
But it’s not just the fun cars that are suffering from the slowdown. The car that Toyota has been positioning as the winner in tough times, the economical Prius, has its plans for a Mississippi plant idled. Toyota is preparing for a corporate loss of $1.7 billion; its first reported loss in 71 years.