Toyota targets 1 b dollar cost cut

Demand for compact cars expected

The world’s top automaker plans to use common platforms and parts for the bulk of its compact cars by 2012, saving 100 billion yen annually, the Nikkei economic daily said.

Crisis the cause

The streamlining programme will start in Japan with such models as the Corolla and Vits and will later be implemented overseas, the paper said without naming its sources.

Toyota has long relied heavily on large and luxury vehicles to drive its profit growth, but demand for small and eco-friendly cars is set to expand significantly as the global crisis causes consumers to tighten their belts, it said.

The company will therefore rework its profit structure so it can earn high profits even on small models, the report said.

This would also enable the company to aggressively cultivate demand in emerging markets, it added.

No comment on the report was available from Toyota on Sunday. Toyota Motor suffered a 436.9-billion-yen annual loss, its first ever, in the year ended in March. It has braced itself to plunge deeper into the red as car sales collapse during the recession.

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