US: Toyota to slow truck output
Toyota will reduce US output of pickup trucks later this year as vehicle sales slow in the country, according to reports citing officials at the automaker.
Output will be cut at factories in Texas and Indiana, starting around May or June, the officials told Kyodo News, adding the size of the reduction has yet to be decided.
"We are basically adjusting to the current business condition," Carri Chandler, a spokeswoman at Toyota's North American headquarters, told Reuters.
"We're keeping all our people," she said. "There will be no layoffs."
Reuters said Toyota can build about 300,000 Tundras at the two plants and sold 196,555 in 2007, the truck's first year on the market.
The US housing market downturn has hurt sales of large pickup trucks, which are often bought by contractors and small businesses for use on work sites, the news agency said.
The Tundra competes directly with full-size pickups from Ford, General Motors and Chrysler's Dodge brand.
Reuters noted that Toyota's US sales were down 2.5% overall in the first two months of 2008 from a year earlier, and that the US market is expected to show a third consecutive year of declines due to surging fuel prices, the weak housing market and tighter credit.