A recent report out of Japan had Toyota preparing to cut domestic vehicle production by up to 20 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010. Why? Sales of hybrids and other fuel efficient vehicles are expected to drop following the expiration of tax incentives on those vehicles. Now comes word that Toyota has eliminated 600 jobs at its Japanese plants in preparation for the production slow down.

Toyota has not veered from its traditional policy of not laying off regular employees. The latest cuts are coming from the ranks of the temporary contract workers that it employs for terms of less than three years. At the end of its last fiscal year, Toyota had 2,400 contract workers in Japan. Contract employees are occasionally promoted to full-time status, but that seems rather unlikely in this case given the production cuts.

[Source: Japan Today]