Japanese auto production in China down 86% in February

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The production of major Japanese automakers in China plunged 86.7% in February from a year earlier to 29,911 units due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to data released by the companies.

Automakers have temporarily closed factories in China due to the spread of the virus, workers being forced to stay at home, while supply chains have also been disrupted.

They are expected to see a further drop in global production in the coming months, as their factories in the United States and Europe have already closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has severely slowed global demand.

Toyota Motor Corp. said its production in China fell 77.4% to 15,311 units, while production at Honda Motor Co. fell 92.4% to 5,700 units and Nissan Motor Co. lost 87.9 % to 7,740 units.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. saw production drop 97.0% to 240 units, while production at Mazda Motor Corp. decreased 90.6% to 920 units.

Worldwide, Toyota’s total production fell 13.8% to 625,750 units in February from a year earlier, marking the largest decline since May 2011, when it fell 49.3% to the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku region.

Toyota has announced that it will temporarily halt work at all factories in Europe and Russia to combat the spread of the new coronavirus.

The automaker will suspend operations at its plant in Russia for five days from Monday. It also said all of its auto and parts factories in Europe in six countries, which have seen their operations suspended, should be shut down until at least April 19.

It has already halted production in the United States, Mexico and Canada until April 17 and will halt some production in Japan from Friday due to weak demand. In China, meanwhile, Toyota has reduced production at its four auto plants to normal levels.

Honda’s global production in February fell 26.0% to 289,255 units, while Nissan suffered a 28.5% drop with 270,073 units manufactured in the month.

Nissan’s production in Japan fell 29.3% to 51,673 units due to a shortage of auto parts caused by the supply disruption to China.

Total overseas production of eight major Japanese automakers fell 18.6 percent to 1.14 million units, while domestic production fell 10.8 percent to 733,577 vehicles.

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