Japan automakers – production plummeted in March after the earthquake image

Japan’s leading automakers Toyota, Nissan and Honda said Monday that domestic production plummeted in March after the massive earthquake, which damaged parts suppliers and nuclear power plants.

On Friday, Toyota Motors Corp. President and CEO Akio Toyoda told at a press conference in Tokyo that normal car production is likely to happen in November or December this year.
Mr. Toyoda added that local production is expected to normalized in July while overseas production may be this coming August.

The world’s largest automaker said domestic production fell 62.7 percent to 129,491 units in March, while Japan’s No.2 Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) said its corresponding figure fell 52.4 percent to 47,590 units.

Honda Motor Co. said Monday its auto factories in Japan will operate at half capacity until the end of June, and the company expected to return to full production in Japan by the end of this year.

Production plunged to 34,754 units in Japan while worldwide total production was down 19.2 percent at 282,254 units.

For the fiscal year to the end of March 2011, worldwide production was up 8.2 percent at 3,575,362 units compared with the previous year, Honda said.

The output is the lowest since November 1997, when the company began making public comparable data. It represents a drop for the fourth consecutive month and the rate of decline was the sharpest ever.

Nissan announced that production in Japan decreased 52.4% year-on-year to 47,590 units, due to effects of the earthquake on March 11, and the termination of the government subsidy program for environmentally-friendly vehicles, despite increased demand for Juke.

Production of the Infiniti JX will be moved from Japan to the automaker’s Smyrna, Tennessee manufacturing plant, where production of Rogue models will also be transferred.
To accommodate manufacturing of the Infiniti JX and other models in Smyrna, Nissan will transfer production of its Xterra SUV and Frontier pickup models to its Canton, Mississippi facility.

photo credit: Reuters pictures