GM) down 31%, Ford ( F) down 32%, Honda ( HMC) down 35% and Toyota ( TM) off 37%. These figures are compared to sales from a year ago, and in that time, the deterioration in both consumer spending and confidence has been drastic. For the entire year, Toyota's sales slumped 16%. Now, Toyota is expecting its first operating loss in its 70-year history. This is certainly not an easy operating environment for automakers, including the world's largest. As Toyota's newly resigned President Katsuaki Watanabe said, "It's a kind of emergency that we've never experienced before. The environment surrounding us is extremely harsh." In response to weakening demand in Toyota's hugely important U.S. market, as well as other markets such as Asia, the company is being forced to tighten its belt. Today, TM came forward with a plan to shut down production for 11 days in February and March for all of its factories in Japan. This is in addition to the three-day suspension of operations in January already announced.