In Rare Move, Toyota to Suspend Production in Japan

11-day break amid shrinking demand is first since 1993
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 6, 2009 7:33 AM CST
Unsold 2009 Prius sedans sit at a Toyota dealership, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008.    (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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(Newser) – Toyota is suspending production at all 12 of its Japanese plants for 11 days over February and March, a stoppage of unprecedented scale for the nation's top automaker as it grapples with shrinking global demand. The last time it halted production at all its Japanese plants was in August 1993, when demand plunged because of a rising yen, and that was for only one day, the firm says.

 "We are coping with a slump in global sales," said a rep. "Demand in the world auto market is so depressed that every model is falling sharply in sales." Toyota had earlier announced  that it was halting production at its 12 domestic plants for 3 days in January; it decided on additional closures because of the continuing downturn.