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Japan automakers' output falls 4.5% in Jan. due to chip shortage

This Oct. 23, 2019 file photo shows the logo of Toyota Motor Corp. (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Total global output by eight major Japanese automakers fell 4.5 percent from a year earlier to 2.12 million vehicles in January due largely to a semiconductor shortage worldwide, the manufacturers' data showed Thursday.

    Among them, only Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. saw their production in the month climb from the previous year.

    Toyota said its global production in January rose 4.0 percent from a year earlier to 741,704 units due to a recovery in global demand as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic wanes.

    The company logged an increase in worldwide output for the fifth straight month, supported by solid demand in the United States and China. A company official said the impact of the chip shortage was "limited."

    Toyota's global sales in January hit a record for the month, up 4.6 percent to 765,514 vehicles, as sales increased in Japan and China, the company said.

    Nissan Motor Co. said its global output rose 2.4 percent to 371,532 units owing to increased sales of the Sylphy sedan in China.

    Honda Motor Co.'s worldwide production decreased 8.8 percent to 351,676 vehicles, marking the first decline in five months as output fell at its plants in Japan and Europe due to a chip shortage.

    Subaru Corp. was also hit by the semiconductor supply crunch, seeing a 29.2 percent fall in global production to 63,603 units in the month.

    "The chip shortage impacted Honda harder than Toyota as Honda relies relatively more on foreign suppliers which were severely hit by the shortage," said Koichi Sugimoto, a senior analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co.

    Mazda Motor Corp.'s global output sank 11.8 percent to 111,209 units due to sluggish sales of its Mazda3 compact model.

    Suzuki Motor Corp. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. saw a global production fall of 11.2 percent to 265,285 units and 15.8 percent to 90,745 vehicles, respectively.

    Daihatsu Motor Co., a minivehicle-making subsidiary of Toyota, saw an 8.7 percent fall to 110,432 units.

    Global sales by eight automakers in January slipped 1.0 percent from a year before to 2.06 million units.

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