According to the Los Angeles Times, a town three hours southwest of Tokyo called Toyota City has gone from being the envy of Japan's economy to the city with the country's highest unemployment rate seemingly overnight. What happened? As its name implies, this town is comprised almost entirely of men and women who work for Toyota, the largest automaker in the world - the very same manufacturer that is facing its first year-long operating loss in company history.
Because the city's well-being rises and falls right along with the automaker that it is so dependent on, Toyota City's finances are looking pretty dire for the upcoming year, with a projected drop in corporate tax collections of 96.3 percent. Interestingly, city officials have found an American analog with which to compare themselves: Detroit.
Norio Seki, general director of the city's industrial labor division, says of Detroit, "I'd like to know how they handle unemployment at this scale. I'd like to know what other industries they are looking into. How can you use the technology used in the auto industry for other kinds of enterprises?"
Perhaps Toyota can let Detroit know when figures that one out.
[Source: Los Angeles Times]