TOKYO (AP) -- Toyota, the world's biggest automaker, is preparing to set a 2009 global vehicle production target of about 6.5 million vehicles, the lowest in six years, Japan's top business daily reported Monday.
Toyota Motor Corp. declined 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 annually was in 2003, when it produced 6.1 million vehicles, according to Toyota.
Toyota has been working hard to reduce excess inventory by stopping assembly lines on some days, and is expected to achieve normal inventory levels by May, according to the Nikkei.
Toyota's production will again pick up in May compared to previous months, but such levels will still be far below the previous year's, it said.
On Monday, Toyota said three executive vice presidents were retiring in June -- Mitsuo Kinoshita, overseeing accounting and personnel, Masatami Takimoto, in charge of technology, and Kyoji Sasazu, who had led business develoment and purchasing. Four senior managing directors were promoted to executive vice president at Toyota.
Last month, Toyota tapped a member of the founding family, Akio Toyoda, as president, replacing Katsuaki Watanabe.
For five years through 2007, Toyota had been expanding aggressively, riding on its reputation for mileage and quality. Initially, the manufacturer of the Prius hybrid and Camry sedan had said it expected to sell more than 10 million vehicles worldwide on a consolidated basis in 2009.
Joining a string of Japanese companies sliding into the red, Toyota said this month that it expects a net loss of 350 billion yen ($3.74 billion) for the fiscal year through March, compared with a 1.72 trillion yen profit for the previous year.
Toyota shares fell 1.9 percent to 3,030 yen. The management changes were announced after trading ended in Tokyo.