Toyota to Cut North America Costs by 10%

Hoping to avoid further job cuts

As part of a global cost-cutting plan, Toyota Motor plans to slash North America expenditures by as much as 10% executives said Feb. 11. The cuts come in the wake of a recent announcement that Toyota expects to post a four billion dollar loss for the fiscal year ending in March.

The world's largest automaker said last week that it had no plans to close plants and it hoped to avoid further job cuts.

"Toyota's culture of continuous improvement always focused on cutting costs but now it's more so," said Bob Carter, vice president in charge of the Toyota brand in the United States.
"The 10% is a global goal."

Toyota has already trimmed its North American event-oriented marketing, which tends to be very effective but also can be expensive, Carter said.

Manufacturing operations have also been given new cost targets. "In some casts we will take an axe to costs and in others we'll take a scalpel," Carter said.

Carter stressed that Toyota does not plan to cut back on the support for the introduction of the third generation of its popular hybrid, the Prius.

Carter also said Toyota was keeping an eye on the market and estimates that between 900,000 and 1.1 million Americans have postponed plans for buying new vehicles as a result of the economic downturn.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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