Toyota medium-heavy truck unit Hino Motors has reduced production at its new US assembly plant in West Virginia amid the economic woes stemming from the sub-prime mortgage crisis and soaring oil prices, the company's president said on Thursday.

''Demand is weaker than we expected,'' Shoji Kondo told Kyodo News.

The plant only went into operation in November and is now making two trucks a day instead of the initially projected 10.

Asked about the company's plan to expand operations abroad, Kondo reportedly said: ''We hope to devise business plans as soon as possible for countries such as Russia.''

Hino recently agreed a 50-50 joint venture with local automaker Guangzhou Automobile Group to produce commercial vehicles in China.

Hino aims to double global sales to more than 200,000 vehicles by the end of March 2016 from an estimated 105,000 in fiscal 2007 as demand is expected to grow mainly in Asia, Kondo told Kyodo News.

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