Sunday, March 22, 2020

Japanese Carmakers Pledge to Keep Manufacturing Going Despite COVID-19


Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda and chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) pledged that assembly plants in Japan “would do all they can to remain producing cars and trucks” in spite of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“Production shall be continued,” says Toyoda. “Otherwise, we will cause troubles and inconvenience to our customers. So, we shall never stop production activities.”

The move is in stark contrast to carmakers situated in Europe and the United States where production stoppages were put in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Toyoda though conceded that output adjustments will be necessitated due to supply shortages and declining demand.

Nissan, for instance, has implemented sporadic suspensions at some Japan plants amid parts shortages, while Honda has slowed output of some models.

Moreover, Toyoda said it was too early to make predictions about how bad the impact will be or how long the industry interruptions will last. JAMA usually releases its Japan domestic market sales forecast for the fiscal year starting April 1 around this time. But it held off doing so on Thursday amid the uncertainty.

“People will turn negative if they keep thinking seriously about things that are not controllable,” said Toyota. “The biggest factor behind the current economic situation is unrest people are feeling because of uncertainties.”

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