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Sat, Feb 21, 2009 - Page 10 News List

Toyota to extend output suspension into April

AP , TOKYO

Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, said yesterday it would further suspend production in Japan to cope with slumping global demand and mounting inventories of unsold vehicles.

Toyota Motor Corp is already shutting down output for 14 days at its 11 domestic plants during the first three months of this year.

But facing sluggish sales and rising inventories, Toyota spokesman Yuta Kaga said the firm had decided to halt production again in April for three days at the 11 factories.

“We are responding to demand in the global market and also need to reduce our inventories,” Kaga said.

Toyota’s domestic output in the January-March period of this year is seen at 520,000, down 54 percent from the same period last year.

Kaga declined to give details on Toyota’s domestic output plan in May, but said the company forecast a rise in production in the month because of an expected fall in inventories and the launch of a new model.

Earlier in the month, Toyota said it would incur a net loss of ¥350 billion (US$3.72 billion) for the fiscal year through March because of plunging demand for cars, especially in the US, and the strong yen, which cuts its overseas earnings.

The dismal forecast, the first annual net loss since 1950, was a stunning reversal from the record ¥1.72 trillion profit it posted the previous year.

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