Honda to Cut 760 Jobs in Japan

Company may have to further reduce production

Due to weak demand in North America and Europe, Honda Motor will cut 760 temporary jobs at its domestic plants by the end of January, the company said on Dec. 4.

Honda president Takeo Fukui said there may be more job cuts next year among the number two Japanese automaker's roughly 4,000 temporary domestic workers.

Honda may have to further reduce production in addition to cutbacks already announced, Fukui said at a new car launch.

Fukui said he expected the Big Three U.S. carmakers to get financial support to enable them to overhaul their businesses. "Such a support will be a measure to help them improve their businesses on their own. They should not expect easy support," he said.

Japanese automakers in the 1980s were caught in a trade dispute between Japan and the United States over the huge U.S. trade deficit, prompting Japanese manufacturers to build more U.S. plants rather than exporting cars. Fukui played down the prospect of a fresh row if Japanese carmakers continue to grab market share from the ailing Big Three.

"With Honda's policy of producing locally for local demands, I think we will get understanding even if there are political challenges," he said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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