Toyota Plans to Raise Output in May

Company will ramp up domestic production to around 200,000 vehicles, an increase of roughly 30% from the output of the three preceding months

After deep cuts in recent months to reduce a stockpile of cars left by the global economic crisis, Toyota Motor Corp. will boost domestic production in May, an official said on Feb. 18.

Toyota, the world's biggest automaker, plans "slightly higher" output in May because it has managed to reduce its inventories and also has new vehicle launches coming up, a company spokesman said. Toyota will decide later on the size of the output increase based on how many vehicles it is selling, he said. The company plans to continue to halt production lines on some days in April.

The Nikkei economic daily reported that Toyota had decided to ramp up domestic production to around 200,000 vehicles in May, an increase of roughly 30% from the output of the three preceding months. The company decided on the move as its inventories are expected to drop to normal levels by then, the daily said. But production in May will still be about 40% lower than a year earlier and a full-scale recovery in production is not expected any time soon, it said without naming its sources.

Toyota warned earlier this month that it expects an operating loss of $4.9 billion in the financial year to March, its first ever, as the economic crisis sends car sales plunging.

Toyota's production cut has led to lower output by steel, auto components and other industries.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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