Job cuts widespread across Japanese auto industry

Yesterday, after Daihatsu Motor Company announced it is not renewing between 500 and 600 contracts, it became official: All 12 of Japan's automotive companies trimmed a total of 17,000 jobs, signaling just how widespread the automotive industry crisis has become. Most of the cuts have been among contract and temporary workers.

Japan's auto industry employs about 34,000 contract and temporary workers, reports the Nikkei business journal, meaning that the domestic automakers have shed about half of their contract and temporary workforce.

Suzuki also announced plans to shed an additional 960 non-full time workers by May and that it will cut another 30,000 vehicles from its export production effective immediately. Daihatsu said it plans to reduce its domestically-produced volume by about 16,000 cars.