[Ferro-Alloys.com] Japanese auto manufacturer Mazda is planning to restart two-shift production at all of its four domestic assembly plants in July to gradually restore output from Covid-19 lows.
Mazda said it has decided to resume two-shift production on 1 July at two assembly plants in Hiroshima and one at Yamaguchi prefecture's Hofu, as well as on 27 July at another plant in Hofu. The company is continuing single-shift production at the four plants throughout June in response to reduced new car sales.
The planned resumption of two-shift production is expected to restore the firm's domestic output to around 80pc of year-earlier levels in July after output plunged to just 40pc of year-earlier levels in June, the company said. Mazda produced 84,289 and 88,989 vehicles respectively in June and July last year. Its domestic output in April fell by 86pc from a year earlier to 11,706 units.
Mazda plans to cautiously and flexibly adjust vehicle output operations to demand shifts, while taking into consideration the possibility of a new wave of Covid-19 infections and related impacts in the future.
Japanese auto producers are maintaining output cuts in July but there are signs of an output recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic took its biggest toll on domestic vehicle output during April-June. Toyota has also projected a recovery in its domestic car output in July.
Output cuts by Japanese auto producers have seriously dented demand for steel and metal materials in the past few months. The country's production of crude steel and copper products in May fell to their lowest levels since April 2009 when the global financial crisis stalled manufacturing output and dented demand.
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