We're screwed, economically speaking.
The car maker is going on an 11 day shutdown. Toyota's sales are down 37% in the past year, compared to just over 30% for Ford and Chrysler. Auto sales in Japan are the lowest in 34 years.
The last time Toyota Motor Corp. halted production at all its Japan plants was in August 1993, when demand plunged because of a rising yen, and that was for only one day, according to the company.
A global economic downturn has hammered the auto industry in Japan and elsewhere, forcing carmakers to cut staff, lower production and delay new models. Major automakers in the U.S. had teetered on the brink of collapse until securing a multibillion dollar government lifeline.
"We are coping with a slump in global sales," Toyota spokesman Hideaki Homma said Tuesday. "Demand in the world auto market is so depressed that every model is falling sharply in sales."
article at Huffington Post
And if that isn't sucky enough for you, Slate has a blog entry about empty malls - it's similar to what I've seen locally.
blog entry at Slate