Toyota Suspends UK Salaries

As part of a broader campaign to cope with the economic downturn, Japanese automaker Toyota today announced it decided to freeze UK salaries, citing the lowering demand as the reason. According to Autonews Europe, Toyota also suspended management bonuses and plans to introduce a new voluntary severance program for employees working at the Derby (central England) and Deeside (north Wales) facilities.

The car manufacturer also mentioned that it initially considered imposing a shorter working week to align production with the market demand plus a temporarily suspension for a number of employees, the aforementioned source added.

This isn’t the first cost-cutting measure Toyota applies in the United Kingdom. The company announced in early 2008 that it aims to idle production across the country for four weeks, pointing to the economic recession that slashed demand all over the world.

Toyota currently employes 3,870 people at the Derby facility responsible for building Avensis and Auris models. The other plant based in Deeside builds engines for a number of Toyota vehicles. Both factories experienced a production drop of 20 percent in 2008 versus the year before as the demand was reduced in both the United Kingdom and overseas.

Toyota confirmed a few weeks ago that it will apply a set of new cuts in the North American market but insisted the company won’t turn to layoffs for the time being.

“We’ve taken responsible, step-by-step actions to address this issue in recent months, and we hope the new measures will help us adjust while protecting jobs,” said Jim Wiseman, vice president of external affairs for Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America (TEMA). “This philosophy of shared sacrifice is the best approach for us, and hopefully will make us a stronger company in the long term.”
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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