Toyota to Curb Production in China

Slowing sales cause 10% production cut

As sales slow in the once-booming market, Toyota Motor Corp. is curbing production in China, Toyota spokesman Toshiaki Hori said on Sept. 29. "As sales growth has become slower than we projected earlier, we are adjusting output," Hori said, without disclosing the extent of the production cutbacks.

The Nikkei economic daily reported that Toyota plans a 10% cut in production at its joint venture in China with Guangzhou Automobile because demand is falling due to tighter credit and falling share prices.

The auto giant has already curbed production of its Yaris small passenger car, the daily said.

The Guangdong plant, which produces Camry and Yaris cars, has an annual output capacity of 200,000 vehicles a year.

The Japanese automaker has also been reducing production in such countries as the U.S. Britain and Poland amid a global economic slowdown.

The group, which has suspended some production lines in the U.S. for three months as a result of the market downturn, said last week it had cut global output by 15.5% in August.

Toyota, on course to overtake General Motors as the world's top selling automaker, has been expanding aggressively in emerging markets to make up for sluggish sales at home and tougher conditions in the U.S.

Toyota said in June that it would invest about $380 million in a new production line at the Guangdong plant that would raise annual capacity to 320,000 vehicles by mid-2009. The automaker said that there was no change to that plan.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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