Toyota Gets Its Groove Back

April 7th, 2010 - Posted by Admin

Toyota, which has had a run of bad luck recently, is on a roll recently. They recently launched a March Customer Incentive Program that was designed to bring in more sales. It has worked so well that they’re extending the program into March.

Beginning Tuesday and running through May 3, Toyota will offer free financing for five years on six models, two-year free maintenance for all customers and low lease rates, the company said in a statement.

Helped by uncharacteristically high incentives in March, Toyota chalked up a 41% increase in U.S. sales from a year earlier. That made it the second-best selling auto maker for the month, suggesting that many Toyota buyers were unperturbed by its recall of more than six million vehicles in the U.S. for sticky accelerators and other issues.

I’m not so sure about that “buyers were unperturbed by its recall” stuff, but the move has been rewarding for Toyota–and has probably gone a long way towards repairing their damaged reputation.

Limited is Not So Limited

February 24th, 2010 - Posted by Admin

Not many people realize that Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Bodyworks are owned by the same company that operated The Limited. Limited Brands Inc owns a number of stores, all of which have been very successful in mall-settings. The company posted some pretty good earnings in February.

The company’s shares rose more than 3 percent in after-hours trading.

Results in the holiday quarter ended January 30 were boosted by improved sales and the absence of an impairment charge that cut into profit year earlier.

Analysts say recent improvements in their merchandise are responsible for the marked increase in sales numbers. Of course, having 3000 stores nationwide with high-profile brands doesn’t hurt.

Debt? No Big Deal.

February 8th, 2010 - Posted by Admin

Anyone who pays even moderate attention to the economy or politics knows that the United States is currently in debt in the worst way. Many have begun to fear that this massive deficit is going to hurt their credit rating, but Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner insists the U.S. will never lose its top-level credit rating.

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said the U.S. is in no danger of losing its Aaa debt rating even though the Obama administration has predicted a $1.6 trillion budget deficit in 2010.“Absolutely not,” Geithner said, when asked in an ABC News interview broadcast yesterday whether a downgrade is a concern. “That will never happen to this country.”

I’d be willing to bet that everyone who is owed money by the United States disagrees. Indeed, if the United States continues to borrow at such an alarming pace, we can only lose our AAA credit rating, nothing else could result. It seems irresponsible for the Secretary to insist that it could “never” happen.

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles–and Turkey.

November 26th, 2009 - Posted by Admin

Each holiday season sees tens of millions of Americans traveling to family, friends, and vacation spots. One thing that is a constant in the holiday season is that traffic is going to be horrible. However, the decrepit state of the economy is making traveling much harder for Americans, who are seeking ways to tighten the belt on their budgets. The crippling economy has made it much harder for them to fill their gas tanks or purchase flights than in the past.

Around 38 million Americans are expected to take trips this year, up from last year, but down 20 million from 2005–when the economy was at its height. However, it looks as if more people will be driving and taking trains or buses than in the past, due to budgetary constraints.

Train ridership was predicted to get a holiday boost, with Amtrak expecting Wednesday to be its busiest travel day of the year. Amtrak said its Thanksgiving eve ridership could reach 125,000 passengers, up from approximately 74,000 on a typical Wednesday.

Of course, Thanksgiving isn’t lost. We’ll still eat Turkey, we’ll still watch the Detroit Lions play football, and we’ll still gather with family–but one thing is certain, Americans will be traveling less.