Japan car production in China down 86% in Feb. on coronavirus outbreak

Auto production 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 in the country, data released by the companies showed Monday.

Many Japanese automakers temporarily closed plants in China due to the spread of the virus as workers were forced to stay home given restrictions on movements implemented by local authorities, while supply chains were also disrupted.

Japanese automakers 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. in the country fell sharply by 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 to 240 units in China, while Mazda Motor Corp.’s output there decreased 90.6 percent to 920 units.

Toyota’s total output in domestic and overseas production bases fell 13.8 percent to 625,750 units in February from a year earlier, marking the biggest decline since May 2011 when it dived 49.3 percent following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan.

Honda’s global production in the reporting month 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 also fell 29.3 percent to 51,673 units in February due to a lack of auto parts caused by disrupted supply chains 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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