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Sun, Jan 18, 2009 - Page 10 News List

Toyota announces cut in domestic production

AFP , TOKYO

Japanese auto giant Toyota Motor Corp will halve domestic production for three months and reduce operations at domestic factories amid plummeting demand, reports said yesterday.

Toyota will produce about 9,000 units per day in Japan from next month through April, the lowest level in three decades and lower than what is considered to be efficient production and profitability, the Asahi Shimbun and Kyodo News said.

The company will also stop operations at 11 of its 12 domestic factories for three days this months — yesterday and also next Saturday and Jan. 30 — in line with previously announced plans, Kyodo said.

Next month and in March, the carmaker will suspend operations at all 12 factories for 11 days, the report said.

The move underscores the rapidly deteriorating fortunes of Japan’s auto giants, which have racked up bumper profits in recent years and invested heavily to expand their production facilities overseas.

Japan’s top automaker last month forecast its first-ever annual operating loss, blaming “an unprecedented crisis” in the global auto industry.

Toyota’s domestic output for last year averaged about 20,000 units per day, but the deterioration of global auto demand has forced the company to scale down or temporarily close factories, Kyodo said.

Toyota officials could not be reached immediately.

The reports came a day after No. 2 Japanese automaker Honda announced a plan to eliminate more than 3,000 jobs and to further cut production and Subaru-maker Fuji Heavy warned of its first annual loss in 15 years.

Yamaha Motors also said it would suspend production at 11 domestic plants for up to 10 days, while reports said Nissan planned to transfer production of subcompact cars from Japan to Thailand to reduce costs.

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