All 12 plants of Toyota Motors in Japan will suspend production for 11 days during the month of February and March this year because of shrinking global demand of cars.
: ‘A global economic downturn has hammered the auto industry in Japan and elsewhere, forcing car makers to cut staff, lower production and delay new models. Major automakers in the US had teetered on the brink of collapse until securing a multi-billion dollar government lifeline.
We are coping with the slump in global sales, Toyota spokesman Hideaki Homma said Tuesday.’ Demand in the world auto market is so depressed that every model is falling sharply in sales’.
Last year, Toyota announced that it was stopping its plants for three days only in January but decided to close all plants for 11 days instead because depressed demand brought about by the effects of the global economic downturn.
Both the overseas and domestic markets are experiencing a slump in sales. In Japan the car sales had been stagnant for a while because of the depressed domestic economy while the overseas market is likewise experiencing a downtrend in the demand for cars and trucks. Sales of motor vehicles in Japan fell to 3.2 million last year, the lowest in 34 years.
Toyota is expecting an operating loss of $1.7 billion for the fiscal year ending in March 2009, its first in 70 years.
The demand for cars globally has been on a continuous downtrend mainly because of the worldwide economic downturn. In the US, the government had to bail out the industry to save the car makers from eminent closure and prevent thousands of workers from losing their jobs.
Aside from the direct employees of the automotive manufacturers, there are thousands more people that will suffer once the industry collapses. These include the workers of companies that are supplying giant carmakers with spare parts and services.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister of Japan is slowly and increasingly becoming unpopular because of the sluggish domestic economy. Some opposition lawmakers are calling for his resignation to pave the way for a new election.