For the first time since 1993 when it cut production for a day, Toyota will halt its operations at all 12 of its Japanese plants. Toyota had previously announced that it would suspend production for three days in January, but now the Japanese automaker said that it would close its factories for another 11 days over February and March as it tries to cope with constantly shrinking global demand. In Japan, Toyota announced that its December sales fell 18% compared to last year while for the whole 2008, the company saw a 7.4% decrease over 2007.
In the U.S., Toyota (including Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands) reported December sales results of 141,949, a decrease of 36.7 percent from the same period last year. In terms of year-end sales, Toyota sold 2,217,662 vehicles in the U.S., down 15.7 percent from the same period in 2007, on a daily selling rate basis.