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January 23, 2020 9:15 AM, EST

Moody’s Lowers Toyota Credit Outlook on Industry Challenges

Toyota Motor Corp. badge.Moody's lowered Toyota's credit outlook due to to industry struggles. (Akio Kon/Bloomberg News)

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Toyota Motor Corp. had its credit outlook lowered by Moody’s Investors Service, showing even the world’s most valuable carmaker isn’t safe from turmoil in the industry.

The outlook was changed to negative from stable, Moody’s said Jan. 23 in a statement as it affirmed its Aa3 rating for the company — the fourth-highest level. The Japanese giant has held that rating since 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Global car demand is sputtering as consumers move toward ride-booking services, reducing the need for individual ownership. An industry shift to electric and self-driving vehicles is also forcing manufacturers to increase investment, putting pressure on profit margins.

“The change in the outlook to negative reflects the material challenges related to megatrends in the global automotive sector,” Motoki Yanase, a Moody’s senior credit officer, said in the statement.

On Jan. 22, Japan’s Rating and Investment Information Inc. upgraded Toyota to AAA, making it the only company in the country to have the highest rating, as well as the sole domestic issuer ranked above the sovereign.

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