Toyota plans to operate five car plants on weekends from September in addition to three that are already operating on weekends as demand for cars is showing signs of bottoming out, officials at the automaker said.


The five factories would introduce additional shifts without hiring more workers because the recent recovery in sales could be short-lived, they told AFP.


Toyota was today said to be considering an up to 10% cut in global capacity, apparently temporary, but has not confirmed the Japanese media reports.


AFP said the government programme of tax breaks for the purchase of fuel-efficient cars were expected to boost Toyota’s domestic vehicles sales in August year-on-year for the first time in 13 months. The company also needs to ship more cars to the United States, where ‘cash for clunkers’, which ended on Monday has revived sales. Toyota models accounted for 19.2% of ‘clunker’ sales.


The RAV4 SUV plant in Tahara and a Toyota Industries factory that produces the same model in Obu, both in Toyota’s home prefecture of Aichi, will operate on two Saturdays in September.


Kanto Auto Works’ Iwate prefecture plant will also operate on two Saturdays to produce the Corolla Runion car.


Central Motor will run a Kanagawa prefecture plant for three additional days to produce small cars for sale in North America while affiliate Daihatsu’s Kyoto prefecture factory will operate for two additional days to turn out small cars for Toyota.


In July, both Toyota and assembly affiliate Toyota Auto Body began operating two plants that make the Prius hybrid and another plant that produces minivans at weekends to meet rising demand.