• Kyodo


The domestic production of eight major Japanese automakers in May plunged a record 61.8 percent from a year earlier to 287,502 vehicles due to factory closures and falling demand amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, data released by the companies showed Monday.

The decline, which followed a 46.7 percent drop in April, was worse than the previous record fall of 60.1 percent in April 2011, when a massive earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan triggered extensive supply chain disruptions.

Mazda Motor Corp. said its domestic production in May dived 83.6 percent following an 86.5 percent plunge in April, while Nissan Motor Co. logged its biggest monthly decline of 78.7 percent in May. Subaru Corp. also saw a record monthly fall in domestic output of 77.8 percent in the reporting month.

Toyota Motor Corp. said the pandemic caused its global output in May to plunge 54.4 percent from a year earlier to 365,909 vehicles, the sharpest fall since comparable data became available in 2004.

Japan’s biggest automaker also said its global sales fell 31.8 percent to 576,508 vehicles in the reporting month, though that was an improvement from a 46.3 percent drop in April.

Toyota’s global production declined for the fifth consecutive month, as domestic output dived 57.0 percent to 122,744 vehicles and overseas production tumbled 53.0 percent to 243,165 units due to stay-at-home requests and falling demand around the world.

Toyota’s output fell 78.5 percent in North America and 58.9 percent in Europe due largely to weak demand amid the pandemic of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, production in China rose 13.5 percent to 137,071 vehicles, as demand including for new models of the RAV4 sport utility vehicle and Corolla sedan grew, while coronavirus infections in the country have declined, the company said.

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