WRAPUP 2-Toyota debt rating cut, Suzuki holds out hope for GM

miércoles 26 de noviembre de 2008 10:43 CET

* Fitch cuts Toyota credit rating, shares fall 4.6 pct

* Suzuki CEO says GM bankruptcy "100 pct" impossible

* Mazda to idle Japan factory for two days next month (Adds credit default swaps move)

By Chang-Ran Kim, Asia autos correspondent

TOKYO, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Cotización) had its top-notch credit ratings cut for the first time in a decade, hitting its shares and raising borrowing costs as an unprecedented slowdown reshapes the global auto industry.

Fitch Ratings on Wednesday downgraded Toyota's long-term foreign and local debt ratings to AA from AAA, with a negative outlook, saying the company needed to review its global investments, product mix and speed of expansion to address the challenges it faces. [ID:nWNA0387]

"The negative developments in the industry are so substantial and fundamental that even the strongest player -- Toyota -- can no longer support an 'AAA' rating," said Fitch Director Tatsuya Mizuno.

Sales in the United States and Europe have plunged as access to credit dried up, with the slowdown spreading to China, India, Russia and other markets on which automakers had placed their last hopes for near-term growth.

"It's impossible to tell where demand will go next year and beyond," Suzuki Motor Corp (7269.T: Cotización) Chief Executive Osamu Suzuki said at a car launch in Tokyo on Wednesday.   Continuación...