Did anyone hear that hiccup of a few hours ago when Toyota announced a fall in quarterly sales which was the first time in several years? It looks as though Toyota is going to feel some pain as the world’s biggest automaker feels the increase in spending as AI and other R&D rises to compete. About three weeks ago, an alleged gas explosion was the cause for Toyota’s steel supply chain to get shut down at a plant operated by one of Toyota’s suppliers, Aichi Steel. “The shutdown will run from February 8 to February 13”, Toyota said in a statement. Toyota produced around 40% of the 10.2 million cars it made last year in Japan. Notice the British-based FT always has the financial news first? FT probably know about Japan’s car industry than Japan does itself. The last Toyota dropped in sales came in 2011 after the Fukushima disaster.