• The Associated Press


Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, said Friday it will further suspend production at home to cope with slumping global demand and mounting vehicle inventories.

Toyota Motor Corp. has already scheduled 14 days of output freezes at its 11 domestic plants for the first three months of this year, but Toyota spokesman Yuta Kaga said it will halt production again for three more days in April.

“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 quarter is expected to reach 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 due to an expected fall in inventories and the launch of a new model.

Earlier this month, Toyota said it will incur a net loss of ¥350 billion for the year through March due to plunging demand for cars, especially in the United States, and the strong yen, which eats into 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.

Toyota is also cutting North American production and instituting a shorter workweek at some U.S. plants due to plummeting sales. Last week, it said it will offer buyouts to about 18,000 workers in the U.S.

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