Japan Auto Production Plunges In April After Quake

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese automakers' global vehicle production plunged in April, especially in Japan where supplier plants were destroyed by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Toyota Motor Corp. reported Friday that Japan production in April fell 74.5 percent to 79,341 vehicles while its global production declined 48 percent to 346,297 vehicles.

Japanese automakers have been forced to reduce production amid parts shortages. The magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami devastated huge areas in northeastern Japan, home to auto parts manufacturers.

Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. also produced fewer vehicles in Japan, and worldwide, in April compared with a year earlier.

Honda's production in Japan nose-dived 81.0 percent in April to 14,168 vehicles, while its worldwide production declined 52.9 percent to 138,498.

At Nissan, Japan production declined 48.7 percent to 44,193 vehicles, and global production slipped 22.4 percent to 248,024 vehicles.