High steel and fuel costs as well as the slowing global economy forced Japanese car giant Toyota to cut its sales forecast in Britain and across the world yesterday.
Toyota president Katsuaki Watanabe said he will cut the firm’s annual global sales target for 2009 by 700,000 vehicles to 9.7m.
Watanabe said: “We have been going at top speed up to now. It is time to set more cautious targets.” The carmaker had previously set a 2009 global sales goal of 10.4m vehicles.
As part of its plans Toyota said it would reduce the number of daily shifts at its Burnaston plant in Derbyshire from its current two a day to just a single shift later this year for its Auris line of cars.
The Japanese group, struggling with the rest of the auto sector to address sliding North American and European markets, said that it would adopt a similar shift-cutting strategy at its engine-making plant in Poland and added it also plans to cut back production in the US.
Toyota added it will make the gas electric Prius hybrid in the US, at its Mississippi plant, to meet growing demand for fuel-efficient models, while scaling down production of trucks and other gas-guzzlers there.
Toyota has shown strong growth over recent years as it gets closer to ending General Motors’ 77-year run as the world’s top carmaker by sales.