While General Motors and Chrysler survive on the government dole amid legal battles with bondholders, Japanese rivals are issuing fresh debt.
Honda just sold about $715.8 million of three-year bonds. The company paid an interest rate of just 0.759 percent, thanks to the Japanese central bank's policy of ultralow interest rates.
And Toyota is thinking about issuing around $1.02 billion in bonds, according to Japan's Nikkei business daily.
In February, Toyota sold $1.22 billion of five-year bonds at 1.34 percent interest and $812.1 million of 10-year paper at 2.01 percent.
Toyota's Aa1 rating from Moody's helps. So does not having to tell bondholders, as Chrysler did, that they'll be getting 20 cents on the dollar.
"Honda and Toyota have very healthy balance sheets," says Jun Sakurabayashi, a Moody's analyst in Tokyo. "The risk of not getting your money back is relatively small."