As if this week weren't gnarly enough, Toyota announced yesterday that it's making more cuts at its North American facilities. The company had already instituted a hiring freeze and eliminated overtime, along with other loss-prevention measures, but apparently that wasn't enough. So now Toyota is implementing the following cutbacks:
- some additional non-production days in April, varying from plant to plant;
- strong possibility of reduced work/pay weeks, known as "work sharing," at some plants. Production team members at affected plants would work and be paid 72 hours instead of 80 during the two-week pay period;
- executive and salaried bonuses eliminated;
- executive pay cuts;
- production team member bonuses reduced;
- voluntary exit program for team members who wish to pursue other opportunities;
- no wage increases for the foreseeable future.
Obviously, this is intended to stanch the flow of cash that's hemorrhaging from Toyota's bank accounts. (You'll recall that the company recently announced that its losses for fiscal year ending March 31 aren't just going to be bad; they're going to be three times as bad.)
On the upside--if there is an upside--these cutbacks don't sound too different from those taking place at Chrysler, Ford, and GM. In some ways, they even seem a little gentler. We're hoping Toyota will be the Jamie Lee Curtis of the blood-stained auto industry and pull through with a few well-placed scratches, but no permanent scarring.