Toyota announced today that it will halt production at its Japanese plants for 11 days in February and March due to a strong decline in U.S. sales that are leading to inventory pile-ups for dealers. Toyota reported a 37 percent loss in December sales in the U.S., making it the sharpest fall in more than a quarter of a century. It even performed worse than its U.S. rivals General Motors and Ford.
“I never expected the crisis to spread this fast and leave this deep a scar,” Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe told reporters in Tokyo.
Rival Honda and Nissan have both announced production output cuts by at least 200,000 vehicles for the fiscal year ending in March. Toyota had previously announced a 3-day production halt for Jan. 2009 at its 12 Japanese plants.