Car sales in Japan excluding 660cc minivehicles dropped 37 per cent in March from a year earlier led by a 46 per cent slide at Toyota as the market feels the effects of the devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11.
Nissan’s Japan sales slumped 38 per cent and Honda fell 28 per cent. The figure for Toyota excluded the Lexus brand.
Overall vehicle sales including minivehicles fell by 35.1 per cent in March, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association has said.
The latest numbers give the first indication of how Japan’s carmakers are faring in their home market after the catastrophes devastated northeast Japan and triggered power outages and the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.
Many of Japan’s auto plants are closed in the wake of the disaster, unable to get parts from suppliers.
All but two of 18 factories that assemble Toyota and Lexus vehicles in Japan remain idle.