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Toyota Projects First Ever Operating Loss

Japan's Toyota Motor Company has forecast its first ever operating loss.

In a statement Monday, the company says profits for its business year ending in March 2009 have been slashed by both the soaring value of the Japanese yen and a worldwide decline in auto sales.

Toyota sales were down by more than a third in the United States and Europe in November.

In the last financial year, Toyota enjoyed an operating profit of more than $25 billion.

Last week Japanese automaker Honda cut its annual profit forecast by two thirds.

In the United States, automakers are in even bigger trouble. General Motors and Chrysler have been granted federal government aid of up to $17.4 billion to stave off bankruptcy while they undertake a major restructuring.

Ford says it can do without federal aid for a while longer, but will likely need help next year if sales do not improve.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.