Japanese auto giant Toyota Motor plans to keep its domestic plants shut for 11 days in February and March to cut down on inventories amidst declining global vehicle sales.
Toyota Motor, which overtook General Motors as the world's largest automaker last year, said the suspension will affect production at all 12 plants in japan that it operates directly. These include 4 vehicle assembly plants and factories that make transmissions, engines and other parts.
Toyota, which until a few months ago was unable to keep production with rising demand, has already announced a 3-day production stoppage this month at these plants.
Toyota also saw its sales drop 37 per cent in the US, the biggest market for its fuel-efficient cars, in December – a larger decline than its struggling American rivals General Motors and Ford.
Toyota sales dropped despite the no-interest loans offered on most models since October 2008.
Sales of its Prius hybrid, the best-selling gasoline-electric car in the US, fell 45 per cent; that of the full-size pickup Tundra fell 52 per cent and that of the Lexus luxury brand 32 per cent.
A rising yen against the US currency, which also affected Toyota's profitability overseas, saw Toyota report its first annual loss in 70 years.
Toyota did not quantify the planned output cut. The company's four domestic assembly plants produced 1.5 million vehicles in 2007.
Toyota also recently announced that it would shut down truck production at two US plants for three months.