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Toyota may again cut target

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The Japan Times

Toyota may again cut target

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Toyota Motor Corp. may revise downward its global sales goal for 2009 to fewer than 8.5 million units, down more than 1 million units from an earlier announced goal of 9.7 million, sources said Thursday.

Under the expected decision, its sales including vehicles sold by its subsidiaries Daihatsu Motor Co. and Hino Motors Ltd. will fall to the lowest level since 2005, when the group sold about 8.12 million units.

In addition, Toyota's global sales for 2008 are expected to fall to around 9 million units, down from the previous year's sales of about 9.37 million, amid deterioration in the U.S. market.

In November, the automaker's new vehicle sales in the United States plunged 33.9 percent from a year earlier, marking the sharpest percentage drop since statistics started to be tracked in 1981.

Toyota will sharply lower its sales goal for 2009 in view of the global recession taking root on the back of the financial market meltdown, which is expected to further weigh on its sales next year, the sources said.

Amid the slump in sales, the automaker announced earlier this month it will reduce production in North America and Japan by suspending operations at some of its plants and revealed plans to cut about 3,000 temporary workers in Japan.

Such moves to cut its workforce have spread to its auto parts suppliers and the downward revision of the firm's target is expected to inevitably take a further toll on the parts industry and other related sectors, as well as employment.

Toyota had enjoyed buoyant sales in recent years on the back of growing demand, particularly in emerging nations.

Its annual group sales doubled in the 10 years through 2007, rising at an annual rate of more than 500,000 units between 2003 and 2007.

In August 2007, Toyota announced its sales goal of 10.4 million units for 2009, a figure that would have made it the first automaker group in history to sell more than 10 million vehicles in a year.

In late last August, however, the automaker revised downward its goal, saying its group sales in 2009 would total 9.7 million units.

The Japan Times: Friday, Dec. 12, 2008

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The Japan Times Online

If you really want to make people safe drivers again then simply remove all the safety features from cars. No more seat belts, ABS brakes, traction control, air bags or stability control. No more anything. You'll see how quickly people will slow down and once again learn to drive like "normal" humans.

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