Toyota seeking to reduce headcount on a voluntary basis

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 3, 2011

As the economy remains uncertain, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. wants to reduce headcount voluntarily as it recovers from the recall crisis last year.

Toyota sent a letter to its sales and customer service employees in the U.S., stating that the company has to “continue to align [its] staffing and organizational structure to fit [its] future needs and growth.”

Toyota also said that as it is “strictly a voluntary program,” there is no specified target number for the participants in the program. The managers in Toyota’s automotive operations group were offered the voluntary severance agreement.

This group includes Toyota and Lexus divisions, sales administration and logistics, as well as the customer services division at Toyota's Torrance, Calif., headquarters. The offer has actually been extended to 629 of 6,100 Toyota headquarters employees.

A spokesman said that this is not the first time that Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. has moved to reduce its workforce since the recession started. When the economic crisis hit, Toyota decided to end almost all of its dealings with outside independent contractors.

But throughout the past decade, Toyota had been reducing staffing levels even when its volume grew.

U.S. sales of Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles increased from 1.62 million in 2000 to 2.26 million in 2005. However, the number of employees dropped from 6,655 people to 6,272. [via autonews - sub. required]

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