Toyota, Japan's leading auto manufacturer, plans to halt its production for about 11 days in February and March due to decreasing global auto sales.
The company has cut down 18 shifts over 11 days. This cut down is in addition to the announced three days of production halt this month.
The decision to halt production is credited to slump in new car sales. Even in Japan, the company has experienced the lowest sales this year over a period of past three decades due to global recession.
Domestic sales of Toyota excluding mini-vehicles fell by 6.5% from last year to 3.2 million units in the year 2008. This is considered to be the fifth annual decline and the lowest since 1974 when Toyota had sold 3.1 million units.
Last month, Toyota experienced an unprecedented operating loss of $1.69 billion for the year 2008. This loss is considered to be the first such loss in the history of Toyota.
With such a high loss, Toyota had no other alternative than to halt its production and reduce the number of production units.