• Kyodo


The global production of eight major Japanese automakers plunged 60.9 percent to 916,255 vehicles in April from a year earlier, as plants were closed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, data released by the companies showed Thursday.

Their output is likely to decline further except in China, where the economy is gradually recovering on the back of low new infection rates, as the ongoing global spread of the virus is expected to weigh on demand for automobiles in the coming months.

Toyota Motor Corp. said its global production tumbled 50.8 percent to 379,093 vehicles, while Honda Motor Co. saw a 48.0 percent decline in worldwide output to 212,747 units.

Nissan Motor Co.’s global production also fell 62.4 percent to 150,388 vehicles with its two factories in Europe completely halting production.

The three largest automakers and Subaru Corp. said their output in the United States stood at zero as the spread of the virus, which causes the respiratory illness COVID-19, led to the closure of all their factories in the world’s biggest economy in the reporting month.

Toyota, Honda and Subaru resumed production at their plants in the United States and Canada on May 11 after about 50 days as local authorities eased restrictions on economic activity. Nissan plans to restart operations on June 1.

Suzuki Motor Corp. said its production fell 87.6 percent to 34,015 units worldwide as the carmaker’s manufacturing and sales in India, a major market for the company, stood at zero in April due to the spread of the virus in the country.

The combined domestic output of the eight automakers fell 46.7 percent to 412,587 vehicles in the reporting month. Mazda Motor Corp. logged its smallest monthly domestic production of 11,706 units since 1979, the company said.

Global sales of the eight automakers in April stood at 1.08 million vehicles, down 50.7 percent due to stay-at-home orders implemented by many governments in Europe and other parts of the globe.

Toyota said its global sales dropped 46.3 percent to 423,302 vehicles, marking the largest monthly decline since 2001.

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