Japan's Asahi Glass to cut auto glass output

TOKYO, April 15 (Reuters) - Asahi Glass Co Ltd said on Wednesday it will end production of auto glass at one of its three factories in Japan in response to slumping demand.

Automakers have been slashing production amid the global economic crisis and Asahi Glass said it will halt output at its Kitakyushu plant, southwestern Japan, by the end of this year.

The firm’s auto glass output has fallen to about half of its production capacity, the company said in a statement.

It estimates a one-time charge of about 5 billion yen ($51 million) stemming from the output reduction, but added that this has already been factored into its earnings forecasts for 2009. ($1=98.48 Yen) (Reporting by Taiga Uranaka)