TOKYO Jan 28 Toyota Motor Corp plans
to curb daily vehicle output in Japan by 15 percent in April
from a year earlier as it adjusts for a dampening of demand from
a national sales tax rise, a source familiar with its production
plans said on Tuesday.
The tax hike to 8 percent from 5 percent is widely expected
to spur a pickup in consumer spending before it goes into effect
on April 1, followed by a temporary slump when it kicks in.
The tax increase, engineered by the previous opposition
administration but given final approval by Prime Minister Shinzo
Abe and urged by IMF officials and global credit ratings
agencies, aims to rein in Japan's huge public debt even at the
risk of slowing the economy in the short term.
Toyota plans to manufacture around 12,200 vehicles a day in
the month of April, down 15 percent from a year ago, the source
In January, the world's biggest carmaker has planned daily
production up 4 percent year-on-year while February and March
output are planned to rise 3 percent, the person added, speaking
on condition of anonymity because the production plans are not
Toyota spokesman Naoki Sumino said the company does not
disclose its monthly production plans.
The Nikkei business daily reported that Toyota planned to
make around 12,000 vehicles daily in Japan in April.
Toyota announced last week that it would trim full-year
production in Japan this year by 6 percent to 3.15 million
Toyota executives have said that a decline in sales
following the tax hike would be inevitable.
"Of course we adjust daily run rates," said a company
official with knowledge of the matter. "I wouldn't read too much
The company's president Akio Toyoda said this month that he
wanted to limit the duration of the tax hike's hit to sales to
no more than three months.
"We want to make it so that from July we can see an upturn
in the mood," he told reporters.
The tax increase, which will help pay for rising healthcare
costs, has prompted consumers to bring forward purchases of
homes, cars, other durable goods and luxury items before they
become more expensive.
A Reuters corporate survey in late November and early
December found that almost half of the respondents expected the
negative impact of the tax hike on consumer spending to have
faded within six months.
(Additional reporting by Norihiko Shirouzu in Beijing; Editing
by Edmund Klamann and Jeremy Laurence)