As a result of this import onslaught and rising manufacturing costs that are making it tougher to compete abroad, Japanese automakers find themselves retrenching. Many are looking to cut their workforces and trim costs.plans to slash its car capacity in Japan from 1.43 million to 1 million units within three years. The company has been working the past three years to retrain excess workers so it won't be forced into layoffs, but part of that effort will be to pull more work in-house, shifting the layoffs to its suppliers. Motor Co. Ltd. is pledging to cut staffing from 53,000 to 48,000 in the current fiscal year that began last April. It is using a hiring freeze and early retirement incentives, and is ahead of the anticipated pace necessary to reach the goal. It also has an informal target of 10% annual headcount reduction for the near future -- likely the next three years.