Report: Toyota's output to fall to six-year low

TOKYO — Toyota, the world's biggest automaker, is preparing to set a 2009 global vehicle production target of 6.5 million vehicles, the lowest in six years, Japan's top business daily reported Monday.

Toyota Motor Corp. declined to comment on the report.

The automaker has yet to give a vehicle sales or production goal for this year, citing the unprecedented drop in global auto demand that has followed the U.S. financial crisis.

Toyota is slipping into its first net loss since 1950 for the fiscal year through March as sales plunge not only in the crucial U.S. market but also Europe, Japan and emerging economies.

The Nikkei said Toyota will be releasing the production plan to parts suppliers soon.

The last time Toyota produced fewer than 6.5 million vehicles a year was in 2003, when it produced 6.1 million, according to Toyota.

Toyota has been working hard to reduce excess inventory by stopping assembly lines on some days, including at its plant in Georgetown, Ky., and is expected to achieve normal inventory levels by May, according to the Nikkei.