Toyota Sees 12% Drop in Annual Production

Company told its suppliers it will manufacture 6.2 million vehicles next year

As the industry struggles with a sharp fall in demand, Toyota Motor expects its production to fall by about 12% in the next business year starting in April, the company said on March 2.

Toyota, the world's biggest automaker, has told its suppliers it will manufacture an estimated 6.2 million vehicles next year, down from 7.08 million this year. This figure is not an official target but a guideline for suppliers, the company said.

Toyota ended General Motors' 77-year reign as the world's top-selling automaker in 2008, but it has not been immune from the global economic downturn and expects its first ever loss in the current financial year to March.

The Japanese company has idled production lines and shed jobs to cope with falling demand for new vehicles at home and abroad.

Sales of new vehicles in Japan plunged 32.4% last month from a year earlier, the steepest decline for February since 1974, industry figures showed on March 2. Toyota brand vehicles fell 32% from a year earlier.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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