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Toyota stopping output in UK, France amid weak demand

Toyota FT-CH compact hybrid concept. The New York

Toyota FT-CH compact hybrid concept. The New York International Automobile Show kicked off at the Javits Center with the traditional upbeat speech by a major industry figure. This year it was Ford Motor Co.'s president and chief executive Alan Mulally, who said, "We made it through one of the worst recessions since the Depression." Credit: AP

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota said Friday it is stopping production at its factories in France and Britain for a total of nine days amid weak demand that the company partly attributed to its recent recall woes.

The world’s No. 1 automaker will suspend output at it plant in France for four days starting April 6, said spokeswoman Ririko Takeuchi. Toyota will also stop production at its two factories in Britain for five working days sometime in May.

“In France, we’re reviewing production because of the impact of recall problems,” Takeuchi said. The closures in Britain were part of previous plans, she said, but also due to sluggish car sales in Europe.

In early June, Toyota also plans to halt one of its two assembly lines at its Burnaston plant in Britain for another five working days, Takeuchi said.

The stoppages come after Toyota recalled 8.5 million vehicles globally over braking problems in its Prius hybrid, sticky gas pedals and pedals that can get stuck under floor mats.

Earlier this month, Toyota launched a slew of incentives to lure buyers back after its February U.S. sales fell 9 percent.

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