TOKYO (Reuters) -- Toyota Motor Corp said on Wednesday its some 2,200 general managers may buy Toyota cars by the end of the financial year on March 31 in a voluntary effort to help minimise its earnings deterioration.
The world's largest carmaker is set to suffer its first ever operating loss in the year ending in March, hit by a sharp drop in car demand globally. Revenues are seen falling 18 percent from the previous year.
"It's not a corporate decision, but general managers apparently hammered out the voluntary programme through an informal meeting," said Toyota spokesman Keisuke Kirimoto.
In official cost-cutting efforts, Toyota has already banned overtime work at production sites and will tell about 35,000 factory workers in Japan to stay home on reduced pay for two days in February and March.
It will be the first time that the firm, once Japan's most profitable and known for its conservative management style, has set holidays for the purpose of cutting salaries.
Employees of Japanese carmakers are informally encouraged to buy their company products instead of those of rivals so as to show loyalty, but it is rare for them to act in a concerted effort to help shore up earnings.
A decade ago employees of Yamaichi Securities sought to halt a nose-dive in its share price by buying its shares with their own money in the days leading up to the collapse of the 100-year-old brokerage. (Reporting by Yumiko Nishitani; Editing by Michael Watson)