by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) July 25, 2011
Japanese auto giant Toyota said Monday domestic production in the first half of 2011 tumbled 38 percent due to the impact of the March 11 disasters, before mounting a faster-than-expected recovery.
Domestic sales slipped 41 percent in the six months to June to 500,638 units.
The earthquake and tsunami hammered auto production, shattered supply chains and crippled electricity-generating facilities, including the Fukushima nuclear power plant at the centre of an ongoing atomic crisis.
Amid the power and parts shortages, Japanese automakers slowed output or closed factories temporarily in Japan and abroad amid a chronic shortage of key parts.
Since then production has returned to a recovery path. Toyota said it produced 249,660 units domestically in June, or 84.1 percent of production levels at the same time a year ago, compared with 21.6 percent in April and around 70 percent in May.
The automaker's production abroad stood at 344,179 units in June, 96.4 percent of the same month last year, it said.
Last month, Toyota said it expected domestic output -- excluding subsidiaries Daihatsu and Hino -- to return to about 90 percent of pre-quake levels in June thanks to a faster-than-expected recovery of parts supplies.
Toyota rival Nissan said domestic production decreased 18.3 percent year-on-year to 449,492 units, due to the effect of the earthquake and the impact from the end of a government subsidy programme for environmentally friendly vehicles
However, it said global production in January-June increased 11.1 percent year-on-year to 2,144,745 units, reaching a record high for that period.
However, Honda Motor Co., saw a slump in June production with domestic output at around half of last year's levels due to the residual effects of a shortage of electronic parts, rubber products and coating materials a drag on the company's production globally.
"The parts supplies have returned to the normal level in late June, so the company expects the production will come back to the pre-quake levels in July and August," Honda spokesman Atsushi Nemoto said.
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