Toyota is expected to cut its global sales plan for 2009 to below 9m vehicles, down at least 7% from its previous forecast, according to a Japanese newspaper.

Without citing sources, the local Chunichi Shimbun said sales would probably continue to deteriorate next year as the slump in vehicle demand spreads from the United States and Europe to emerging markets such as China.

Toyota, which recently reduced its profits forecasts, has said it would announce updated sales projections at a year-end news conference late next month.

With vehicle sales weakening, passenger car production in Japan is likely to fall below 10 million units in the fiscal year to March 31, 2009, marking the first drop in five years, the Nikkei business daily said on Sunday.

In the latest sign of slowing sales, Nissan said last week it would reduce production in Japan by another 72,000 units.

Nissan’s production cut of another 72,000 units is on top of its half-year announcement of 65,000 units in Japan as part of a 200,000-unit global output cut. 

The Nikkei said the production cuts at automakers and parts suppliers were likely to lead to a loss of more than 10,000 jobs in Japan this business year.

See also: JAPAN: Nissan cuts more domestic output