Toyota, the world’s biggest carmaker, will cut its global sales plan for 2009 to below 8.7 million vehicles, down at least ten per cent from its previous forecast, it was reported in Japan yesterday.

Toyota, which shocked investors last month with a massive reduction to profit forecasts for this business year, has said it would announce updated sales projections at a year-end news conference on December 22. Without citing sources, Jiji Press said Toyota’s forecast would be below 8.7 million.

Japanese newspaper Chunichi Shimbun reported last month that it would be lowered to below nine million units.

In August, Toyota cut its group-wide sales forecast by almost seven per cent to 9.7 million vehicles from 10.4 million as high fuel prices hammered demand for large cars and pick-up trucks in North America. Since then, tighter credit and deepening economic woes have hit demand in Europe beyond expectations, and slammed the brakes on rapid growth in China, India and Russia, among other markets. The Toyota group, which includes mini-vehicle maker Daihatsu and truckmaker Hino Motors, sold 9.3 million vehicles in 2007.