PARIS — The world’s automakers are driving defensively.
Car and truck manufacturers are conserving cash by running down inventories and cutting everything from pay to travel, especially in Japan. German carmakers have gotten help trimming workers’ hours through government programs that compensate staff for lost pay.
All have been ruthless about saving money as they endure a recession-led sales slump and hang on until a turnaround finally comes. For now, that seems the best investors can hope for as the companies report very mixed financial results this week.
German automaker Volkswagen AG on Thursday posted an actual profit, like Japan’s Honda Motor Co. the day before. But French carmaker Renault SA, and Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp., lost millions, even billions of dollars.
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