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by Brett Davis

Toyota Japan has been struggling with exports lately as the yen proves too strong for the American and European currencies. Now the company is aiming to cut production costs to compensate for profits lost through exporting to the weaker American market.

The Japanese currency is up by at least 3 percent on every major international currency this year, and it just seems to keep on climbing. Recording a 15-yeah high against its main markets, the yen exchange rates are up by eight percent against the American dollar and 14 percent against the euro compared to last year.

Executive vice president for global manufacturing, Atsushi Niimi, said in a recent Bloomberg report,

“Given the current exchange-rate situation, it isn’t feasible, in terms of a business model, for us to produce Corolla or Yaris in Japan and export them. We’re working very hard to reduce costs to maintain the appeal of these cars.”

The Corolla was previously produced at an assembly plant in California, but the plant closed in April. Jim Wiseman, a Toyota spokesman said a new plant in Blue Springs, Mississippi, will alleviate Japanese-export demand, but the plant isn’t scheduled to commence operation until September 2011.

So how is Toyota planning on ‘reducing costs’? All Atsushi Niimi could say in the report was,

“By way of technological innovation, we’d like to realise a high level of productivity, as well as a low amount of investment, so we can maintain a system where we can export some vehicles overseas,”

Toyota exported 325,398 Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles to the US during July this, a figure down by 15 percent compared to last year.




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