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World's Automakers See Losses Accelerate


Slowing vehicle sales are slamming the brakes on profits at major car companies from Mumbai, India to Tokyo, Japan to Detroit, U.S..

Indian automaker Tata Motors says Friday the company lost $54 million between October and December as sales fell 32 percent.

Company officials say the slowdown is forcing them to cut almost 500 jobs at its luxury car division -- British-based Jaguar Land Rover -- which it bought last year.

Japan's number two carmaker is also being pinched by the global recession.

Honda cut its full-year profit forecast by almost 60 percent Friday, blaming declining demand for its vehicles in Japan, North America, and Europe.

In the United States, automobile parts suppliers American Axle posted a more than $1 billion loss for 2008 Friday.

The company relies on General Motors -- the biggest U.S. auto company -- for about 75 percent of its sales.

Number three U.S. automaker Chrysler is asking the government for more money.

Chrysler says it needs an additional three billion dollars in loans to complete its deal with Italian carmaker Fiat. Chrysler has already gotten $4 billion in U.S. government bailout money, and is scheduled to meet with officials in mid-February.

Rival Ford Motor Company has not asked for government help despite posting a record loss for 2008. Still, Ford Chief Executive Allan Mulally tells the Detroit News newspaper the government needs to do more to stimulate the economy.

He says anything the government can do to "incentivize the consumer" would be great because of how important the automotive sector is to the economy.

Finally, the "Big Three" U.S. automakers say they will not air any advertisements during the Super Bowl (the American professional football championship game) on Sunday.

The Super Bowl is one of the most-watched U.S. television events every year. About 100 million Americans are expected to watch the game, and one 30-second commercial costs about $3 million.

This will be the first time in eight years none of the "Big Three" pay for any Super Bowl commercials. Japanese car giant Toyota, Germany's Audi and Korean carmaker Hyundai are buying Super Bowl commercials.

The London Daily Telegraph newspaper reports as many as one billion people may watch the game worldwide.

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

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