Toyota may cut 1,000 jobs in North America and Britain

Carmaker Toyota, hit hard by the global economic slowdown, could soon cut over 1,000 jobs in North America and the United Kingdom, according to a Japanese daily. "Nothing has been decided," Toyota said in a statement in response to the report.


AFP - Japanese carmaker Toyota Motor Corp. is considering shedding more than 1,000 regular workers in North America and Britain as it fights its biggest ever crisis, a report said Friday.

The company aims to finalise the job cuts at its seven plants in North America and one in Britain by the end of the month, the business daily Nikkei reported, citing an unnamed senior Toyota official.

"Nothing has been decided," Toyota said in a statement in response to the report.

"Toyota has been conducting business based on the principle of making the utmost effort to protect employment," it said.

It is rare for Toyota to cut regular jobs, although it has done so occasionally in the past through early retirement, such as in Thailand during the Asian currency crisis a decade ago.

It has not axed regular workers in Japan since 1950, according to a company spokesman.

The report comes just days after sales figures showed that Toyota has overtaken Detroit rival General Motors as the world's top automaker. However, the news was greeted without celebration in an industry badly hit by a global economic downturn that has sent demand for cars plunging.

A report earlier this week said Toyota was considering shedding 3,000 more temporary workers at its domestic plants because of worsening sales, but the firm declined to confirm or deny the report.

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