As the demand for new vehicles remains depressed in light of the global economic slowdown, Japanese auto makers Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. Ltd. and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. continue slashing production at home and abroad.

Toyota is adding more downtime at its North American vehicle, transmission and engine plants. On top of previously announced closures this month and in February, the auto maker now will shut down the majority of its production lines for varying days in March through early April.

In addition to the already-announced nine days in January and eight days in February, Toyota will idle its Sienna minivan line in Princeton, IN, for 13 more days from March 1-April 3.

The San Antonio plant again will be idled for the first time since its 3-month shutdown that ended in November. Toyota says it won’t build the Tundra fullsize pickup truck for three days in the timeframe. Additionally, the facility will continue to run just one shift of Tundra production until market conditions improve.

No additional downtime is slated in March and April for the Lexus RX 350 and Toyota RAV4 lines in Ontario, Canada; Toyota’s Camry midsize sedan operations at Subaru of America Inc.’s Lafayette, IN; or Toyota’s 6-speed automatic transmission line in West Virginia.

The auto maker also will idle its Sequoia large SUV line in Princeton for 17 days in March and April to retool for production of the Highlander midsize cross/utility vehicle. Builds of the Highlander are to begin there in late 2009.

Toyota also will add 16 days’ downtime at its Alabama V-8 engine plant to build out the current version of its 4.7L V-8, which is offered only in the Tundra, spokesman Mike Goss says.

No. 2 Japanese auto maker Honda is cutting back builds at its Swindon, U.K., plant for 35 days in April and May. This is in addition to the previously announced 29 days it will shut down the plant in February and March. Swindon builds the Honda CR-V CUV and Civic compact car.

Honda also will eliminate all 3,100 temporary workers in Japan in April and is cutting 56,000 units from its current domestic-output schedule, ending in late March, Bloomberg reports.

Nissan will slash 64,000 units of domestic production in February and March. It also will halt builds of Infiniti models for 13 days at its Tochigi, Japan, plant and reportedly will shift production of the March subcompact to Thailand, among other cutbacks.

Nissan earlier this week said it would keep its U.S. plants running four days a week until market conditions improve.

Reports emerged Thursday that Nissan, which has not posted an operating loss under the leadership of CEO Carlos Ghosn, will do so in its current fiscal year, ending March 31. The loss is said to be “several tens of billions of yen,” the Yomiuri newspaper says.

Subaru-maker Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. says it is canceling plans to build a new assembly plant with stakeholder Toyota in Japan and will consider moving some of its domestic production offshore to cut costs.