Toyota to suspend new plants for three years: reports

Japan's Toyota Motor has decided to halt the construction of new factories for the next three years in a shift from its previous policy of building new plants almost annually, reports said Sunday.

The company, which hopes to regain top spot in the global auto market, will concentrate its capital investment on existing factories, the Nikkei business daily said.

The new policy will basically shelve through the end of the 2015 fiscal year all plans for building new factories other than those already announced, the paper said.

The company will officially announce the decision in a new management plan to be released in coming months, Jiji Press said, adding that Toyota wants to increase efficiency and cut costs.

Japan's largest automaker now has around 50 overseas plants and just under 30 domestic ones.

Toyota said in late December that it sold an estimated 9.7 million vehicles in 2012, which could put it ahead of General Motors and Volkswagen as the world's biggest automaker.

The company expects to sell about 9.91 million vehicles this year.

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