Toyota, Rivals to Hire Thousands in Post-quake Push

Toyota will hire 4,000 contract workers.

Toyota and other Japanese automakers on June 21 said they planned to hire thousands of contract workers in Japan as they look to make up for lost production due to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Toyota alone said it planned to hire up to 4,000 contract workers at its Japan factories.

"In terms of domestic output, the company expects production will start recovering from around October, making up the delay caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake," the company said.

They will be Toyota's first new contract hires since December 2009, said spokeswoman Kayo Doi. The positions available will be for part manufacturing and vehicle assembly at Toyota plants, she added.

Honda plans to hire about 1,000 new contract workers and renew contracts with current employees as it looks to boost output in the second half of the year, a spokeswoman said.

And Nissan plans to increase the number of contract workers by at least 200 at its five domestic plants by the end of July.

Amid uncertainty in the outlook on supply and sales fronts, Japanese automakers remain cautious about new full-time hires. But demand for outsourcing and temporary labor is recovering.

Toyota has said production is expected to fully recover by November. It said the disaster -- which contributed to a 77% net profit fall in the fourth quarter -- will reduce its global output by 450,000 units, and result in a 360 billion yen hit to operating profit this year.

Honda last week said it expected net profit to tumble 64% this fiscal year compared with last year, due to the impact of the March earthquake and a strong yen.

Earlier this month, Toyota said it expected net profit in this fiscal year to drop 31% on-year to $3.5 billion on a strong yen and the effect on production of the March disasters, but expected to see a second-half recovery.

The 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the resulting tsunami left 23,000 dead or missing, destroyed entire towns and crippled electricity-generating facilities, including a nuclear plant at the centre of an ongoing emergency.

In the power and parts shortages that followed, automakers and other Japanese firms announced production disruptions domestically and overseas, temporarily slowing output or shutting plants.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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