Japan disaster sees car sales fall a record 37 per cent in March
Apr 1, 2011, 10:09 GMT
Tokyo - Last month's earthquake and tsunami saw Japan's new car sales plunge 37 per cent from the same month last year in the largest decline ever recorded, an industry group said Friday.
A total of 279,389 new cars were sold in March, a seventh-straight monthly decline, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said.
Sales of passenger cars saw the largest drop at 39.5 per cent to 243,783. Trucks fell 11.1 per cent to 33,569 in the same month as the March 11 magnitude-9 quake and tsunami.
Japan's largest carmaker, Toyota Motor Corp, saw a 46-per-cent decline in domestic sales to 110,667 units while Mitsubishi Motors Corp's was even larger at 48 per cent, the association said.
Nissan Motor Co, the nation's second-largest carmaker, sold 45,700 cars in the country, down 38 per cent from March 2010, while Honda Motor Co sold 43,329 for a 28-per-cent decline.
The sales figures did not include compact cars.
The 37-per-cent overall sales drop was the largest seen since the association began keeping records in 1968.
The tsunami and quake, the strongest ever recorded in Japan, closed factories, disrupted supply chains and prevented consumers from buying new cars.
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