Toyota plummets to 360th in Forbes ranking

Kyodo

Toyota Motor Corp. has fallen to 360th in the Forbes ranking of the world’s leading companies for 2010, plunging from third the previous year.

The sharp drop came after the automaker was hit by a spate of recalls worldwide and a decline in sales amid the global auto market slump.

Only three Japanese companies — NTT Corp., Mitsubishi Corp. and Honda Motor Co. — were ranked in the top 100, compared with 11 the previous year, indicating the diminished presence of domestic firms in the global economy. NTT was ranked 41st, Mitsubishi 78th and Honda 86th.

Major financial groups also fell in the rankings, hit by deteriorating earnings, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. dropping to 369th from 21st.

China, moving in the opposite direction, had seven firms in the top 100, with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China ranked fifth.

JPMorgan Chase topped the rankings, followed by General Electric and Bank of America.

Record journey

OSAKA (Kyodo) Guinness World Records has officially recognized a 555.6-km trip by an electric vehicle powered by Sanyo Electric Co. lithium-ion batteries as the longest ever achieved without recharging, the company said.

The drive from Tokyo to Osaka was conducted in November by the Japan Electric Vehicle Club. The Tokyo-based club accomplished the feat using a Daihatsu Motor Co. Mira powered by 8,320 Sanyo lithium-ion batteries.

The battery, which is not designed for electric vehicles, is used in personal computers and other electronics.