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JAPAN: Automakers axe 1.9m units

By just-auto.com editorial team | 1 December 2008

A dozen Japanese automakers have cut global output for financial year 2008/9 by 1.9m units compared with original projections, a Japanese news agency calculated.

They have also axed over 14,000 factory jobs in Japan alone, Kyodo News said, adding that the output reduction was about seven to eight percent of the combined original forecast plans.

The sweeping reduction was expected to take a drastic toll on the Japanese economy as a whole because automaking is a key industry in Japan and its performance affects steel and parts makers plus vehicle distribution and retailing, the news agency added.

It said the payroll cuts at factories across Japan was expected also to deal a heavy blow to regional economies.

The report said Toyota Motor had cut production by 953,000 units, mainly in Japan and the United States, revising its global output plan down to about 7.92m units while the number of temporary workers in Japan was expected to plunge to 3,000 by next March, about a third of the 9,200 workers employed in the January-March period this year.

Nissan Motor plans a 272,000-unit worldwide and a temporary workforce cut of about 500 from 2,000, while Honda Motor is reducing output by 141,000 units and plans to fire about 270 temporary workers at its Saitama plant at the end of December, Kyodo News said.

Truck maker Isuzu Motors - all but out of passenger vehicle production nowadays - has reduced domestic production by 28,000 units and will terminate 1,400 temp contracts at two plants in Japan at the end of this year, it added.

As well as the general downturn and tightening credit, the yen's appreciation has also hurt the Japanese makers' global competitive edge, Kyodo News said.

More layoffs in Japan