Business / Corporate

Subaru virus shutdown results in production loss of 150,000 vehicles

Kyodo

Subaru Corp.’s suspension in Japan and the United States in April due to the coronavirus pandemic resulted in an output loss of 150,000 vehicles, equivalent to around 15 percent of its annual global sales.

The carmaker expects the impact to get worse as it plans to extend the halt of night shifts at a domestic plant to June 19 from the initially scheduled May 31.

“The outlook for reopening economies in countries remains unclear. We are expecting a major impact in the year to March 2021,” Subaru President Tomomi Nakamura said in a telephone conference Monday on its latest earnings.

The automaker withheld its earnings outlook for the current business year, citing uncertainty over the pandemic’s impact.

Subaru said Monday its group net profit for the business year that ended March 31 rose 7.9 percent from a year earlier to ¥152.59 billion ($1.42 billion). Group operating profit increased 15.7 percent to ¥210.32 billion on sales of ¥3.34 trillion, up 6.0 percent.

The impact of the coronavirus outbreak was not yet significant before the business year ended, the company said.

Sales in North America grew 6.3 percent to 762,000 vehicles, accounting for about 75 percent of the company’s total sales, on solid demand for its Forester and Ascent sport utility models. The North American figures offset a 7.7 percent decline in domestic sales to 126,000 vehicles.

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