Tokyo: Toyota Motor Corp said on Thursday it will nearly halve its hiring of new graduates next business year to the lowest level in more than a decade as it copes with weak global demand for cars by cutting costs.
The world’s largest carmaker, heading for a record loss in the year ending on 31 March, said last month it aims to slash fixed costs including labour but without forcing job cuts.
Toyota plans to hire 1,400 new graduates in the year starting on 1 April, down from an estimated 2,733 in the current year.
It will be the lowest number since 1996, a Toyota spokesman said.
Toyota’s US operation has introduced a work-sharing programme and offered early retirement for those who leave instead of joining the programme.
Global auto sales have fallen by almost a quarter since January 2008 and by an even steeper margin in the United States, the biggest single market for Toyota and the struggling industry.
Toyota, which forecasts an operating loss of ¥450 billion ($4.69 billion) this financial year, is set to incur a loss of around ¥482 billion next year, according to a poll of 19 analysts by the Reuters Estimates.
Toyota shares closed down 2.2% at ¥2,965, against the Nikkei average’s fall of 0.3%.