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AUTOS

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

S&P; Might Cut Japanese Auto Makers’ Bond Ratings: The company said it may downgrade the ratings on billions of dollars of outstanding bonds in Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co. and divisions of Honda Motor Co., including its main U.S. subsidiary. The move could increase the companies’ costs to borrow money, because lower ratings on bonds indicate greater risk for lenders. Standard & Poor’s said the review is due to “the dramatic worsening of already difficult auto industry conditions.” For the year ended Aug. 20, U.S. sales of imported cars fell 4.3% and sales of imported trucks dropped 11.5%. Sales of U.S.-built cars rose 6.6%.


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