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TMCC: taking caution to good effect

Toyota cars: TMCC's ratings have not suffered in the
economic downturn, as its rivals have, due to its
conservative capital structure

Toyota Motor Credit Corporation (TMCC), the wholesale and retail financing company that supports Toyota's North American sales activities, is unique among the big automotive companies' captive financing vehicles. It has a triple-A rating from Standard & Poor's and Aa1 from Moody's, far superior to those of its big three competitors, Ford Credit, DaimlerChrysler Financial Services and GMAC, the highest rated of which, DaimlerChrysler Financial Services, is on a low single-A.

TMCC has also maintained those ratings consistently for over five years, no small achievement when other automotive captives' ratings have fluctuated through the cyclical ups and downs of the parents' businesses.

This is particularly impressive when sales in the US automotive market have been falling for the past 12 months and doubly so considering that TMCC has a Japanese parent.

This has been achieved through the sort of extremely cautious financial management that is hardly seen at any other companies and by managing the business and its balance sheet to sustain high credit ratings.

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