• Kyodo

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Output by major Japanese carmakers in China plunged 86.7 percent in February from a year earlier to 29,911 units due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to data released by the companies.

The automakers temporarily closed plants in China due to the spread of the virus as workers were forced to stay home, while supply chains were also disrupted.

They are expected to see a further decrease in global production in the coming months as their plants in the United States and Europe have already closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has sharply slowed global demand.

Toyota Motor Corp. said its output in China plummeted 77.4 percent to 15,311 units, while production by Honda Motor Co. fell 92.4 percent to 5,700 units and Nissan Motor Co. lost 87.9 percent to 7,740 units.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. saw a 97.0 percent drop in production there to 240 units, while Mazda Motor Corp.’s output decreased 90.6 percent to 920 units.

Worldwide, Toyota’s total output fell 13.8 percent to 625,750 units in February from a year earlier, marking the biggest decline since May 2011 when it declined 49.3 percent following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku region.

Toyota said it will temporarily halt work at all plants in Europe and Russia in an effort to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The carmaker will suspend operations at its plant in Russia for five days from Monday. It also said all of its auto and parts factories in Europe across six countries, which have seen operations suspended, are likely to be halted at least until April 19.

It has already halted output in the United States, Mexico and Canada through April 17 and will stop some production in Japan starting Friday due to sluggish demand. In China, meanwhile, Toyota has brought production at all of its four auto plants back to normal levels.

Honda’s global production in February dropped 26.0 percent to 289,255 units, while Nissan suffered a 28.5 percent decline with 270,073 units made in the month.

Nissan’s production in Japan fell 29.3 percent to 51,673 units due to a lack of auto parts caused by the supply disruption in China.

The total overseas output by eight major Japanese automakers decreased 18.6 percent to 1.14 million units, while domestic production declined 10.8 percent to 733,577 vehicles.

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