Toyota closes elevators to save money
The car company Toyota is shutting down two elevators at its global headquarters to save money. The world’s largest automaker said on Thursday it will shut down two of eight elevators at its main Tokyo office. This is to save electricity and to cut down on the costs of operating the building. One reason for this new move is the strengthening Japanese yen. The yen has become much stronger since the UK voted to leave the EU on June the 23rd. One dollar bought nearly 120 yen in January; now it buys just above 100. A stronger yen means Toyota cars sold overseas are more expensive and profits go down. Toyota’s profit for the year ending March 2016 was a record ¥2.31 trillion, which is around $23 billion. A Toyota spokeswoman said the company decided to shut down the elevators several weeks ago because of the rising yen. The company is also adjusting the temperature of air conditioners to save money. The spokeswoman said Toyota took similar cost-cutting measures after the financial crisis that happened in September 2008. That also made the yen strengthen against the dollar. The spokeswoman said: „These policies are not new.” She added: „The key objective for the stoppage of elevators specifically is to raise awareness amongst employees, and to remind them of the commitment that Toyota has towards the idea of increasing competitiveness through staying lean and reducing waste.”
Match these words from the two columns to form collocations as in the text:
1. to save awareness
2. to cut down on competitiveness
3. to operate measures
4. to adjust money
5. to take the building
6. to raise the costs
7. to increase the temperature
8. to reduce waste
Match the Polish expressions to their English equivalents from the text:
1. siedziba główna automaker
2. wytwórca samochodów awareness
3. zyski commitment
4. rzeczniczka cost-cutting
5. cięcie kosztów headquarters
6. cel objective
7. świadomość profits
8. zobowiązanie spokeswoman
Say these sentences in English using some expressions from the previous exercise:
1. Musimy podjąć stosowne (appropriate) środki w celu obniżenia kosztów.
2. Naszym celem jest zwiększyć konkurencyjność i zyski.
3. Chcemy uświadomić pracownikom, że warto (it is worth) ograniczać odpady.
I know English idioms!
In today’s text we can read about the importance of reducing waste. So it might be interesting to mention this “waste”-related idiom:
- to treat sb like dirt (= treat badly, with no respect, traktować jak śmiecia
- He worked with JP Morgan from 1985 to 1998, but was treated like dirt, as were most other employees in his department.
This is to save electricity and to cut down on the costs of operating the building. – reads a sentence from this lesson’s text. The fragment underlined in it is a very common phrasal verb which means the same as “to reduce” (obniżyć, ograniczyć, zredukować). Let’s see it in other contexts:
- I’m trying to cut down on caffeine. 5 coffees a day is far too many!
She used to work 50 hours a week, but recently she’s cut down on it.
And what have you cut down on recently or are you planning to cut down on?
And today a little exercise on prepositions. Complete this first paragraph of the reading text with these little words: above / around / at / down / for / in / on. You may need to you each of them several times.
The car company Toyota is shutting ______ two elevators at its global headquarters to save money. The world’s largest automaker said ______ Thursday it will shut ______ two of eight elevators ______ its main Tokyo office. This is to save electricity and to cut down ______ the costs of operating the building. One reason ______ this new move is the strengthening Japanese yen. The yen has become much stronger since the UK voted to leave the EU ______ June the 23rd. One dollar bought nearly 120 yen ______ January; now it buys just ______ 100. A stronger yen means Toyota cars sold overseas are more expensive and profits go ______. Toyota’s profit for the year ending March 2016 was a record ¥2.31 trillion, which is ______ $23 billion.
to close – zamykać
elevator – winda
to save – oszczędzać
to shut down – zamknąć
headquarters – siedziba główna
largest – największy
automaker – producent samochodów
main – główny
electricity – energia elektryczna
to cut down on – ograniczyć
to operate – tu: użytkować
building – budynek
reason – powód
move – posunięcie
strengthening – umacniający się
to vote – głosować
overseas – za granicą
profits – zyski
to go down – spadać, maleć
record – rekordowy
spokeswoman – rzeczniczka prasowa
rising – wzrastający
to adjust – dostosowywać
air conditioner – klimatyzator
similar – podobny
cost-cutting measures – sposoby cięcia kosztów
financial crisis – kryzys finansowy
to happen – wydarzyć się
policy – polityka
key – kluczowy
objective – cel
stoppage – zatrzymanie
specifically – konkretnie
to raise awareness – uświadomić
amongst – pośród
to remind – przypomnieć
commitment – zobowiązanie
towards – wobec
increasing – wzrastający
competitiveness – konkurencyjność
lean -chudy, tu: oszczędny
to reduce – ograniczać
waste – odpady
Ex.1 1. to save money 2. to cut down on the costs 3. to operate the building 4. to adjust the temperature 5. to take measures 6. to raise awareness 7. to increase competitiveness 8. to reduce waste Ex.2 1. headquarters 2. automaker 3. profits 4. spokeswoman 5. cost-cutting 6. objective 7. awareness 8. commitment
1. We have/need to take appropriate measures to cut down on costs.
2. Our aim is to increase competitiveness and profits.
3. We want to raise our employees’ awareness that it is worth reducing waste.
Check your answers in the original text of the lesson.