Toyota Motor on Thursday said its automatic transmissions and component subsidiary Toyota Motor Hokkaido would close temporarily from 25 December.


Japanese media reports said this would be the first halt at the plant in 15 years due to falling production.


It makes automatic transmissions and other parts, mostly for the Corolla shipped to the US, where Toyota’s sales fell 33.9%.


Toyota had said on Wednesday two other plants would temporarily suspend some production.


The automaker is suspending output of Lexus models at its Tahara plant in central Japan and all production at subsidiary Toyota Motor Kyushu’s Miyata plant in southwestern Japan for two days later this month. The plant builds the Lexus IS350, Kluger/Highalnder SUV and Harrier/RX400h hybrids, primarily for US export.


“Japanese auto demand was already bad, but now US demand is falling and the situation is extremely difficult,” a company spokesman told a Japanese news agency, adding some lines would also halt on Saturdays this month while additional plant closures might be needed in future months if the US remains slow.


Toyota hopes new models for the US – such as the  Venza crossover will boost sales early next year.


The company was also reported to be cutting winter bonuses for 8,700 managers by 10%.