• Jiji


Combined domestic automobile production at eight major Japanese makers in April to September dropped 30.4% from a year before to 3,191,867 units, down for the first time in two years on a fiscal first-half basis, data from the companies showed Thursday.

The spread of the novel coronavirus sapped demand, with all eight makers posting year-on-year falls.

Output at Nissan Motor Co. plunged 55.9% to 171,961 units, down for the third consecutive year.

At Mitsubishi Motors Corp., production dived 58.6% to 124,423 units, reflecting sluggish sales of the new eK Wagon minivehicle, launched last year.

Industry leader Toyota Motor Corp.’s total domestic output fell 26.4% to 1,262,881 units, down for the first time in two years, while production was supported by the Yaris, the Harrier and other vehicles.

Honda Motor Co. saw its output slip 25.1% to 332,303 units, the first fall in five years.

All eight makers logged year-on-year falls in overseas production in the first half of fiscal 2020, with their combined output sagging 28.5% to 6,597,003 units.

Suzuki Motor Corp. saw its output plummet 45.4% to 555,376 units due to sluggish production in India and other areas.

Mazda Motor Corp. posted production drops for both passenger cars and commercial vehicles.

Meanwhile, Nissan enjoyed record first-half production in China, backed by robust demand for the Sylphy car.

In September alone, the eight automakers’ combined domestic output grew 0.3% from a year before to 791,256 units, up for the first time in 12 months, thanks to their efforts to recover from the production suspension forced by the coronavirus crisis.

Their combined overseas production rose 2.5%.

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