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Mazda suspends operations in Japan, Mexico, Thailand


Mazda has become the latest Japanese automaker to suspend operations in Japan and overseas as it reacts to worldwide interruptions of demand and supply triggered by Covid-19.

The Hiroshima-based automaker said it would completely suspend operations at its two plants in Japan for 13 days and run them on day shifts only for eight days, between March 28 and April 30.

In announcing the move on Tuesday, Mazda said it hoped to make up the lost production in the July-September quarter. The company said it needed to dial back production to adjust to difficulties in sourcing parts, a sudden plunge in sales and uncertainty about the future.

Mazda also said it would shut down its Mexico assembly plant for 10 days from March 25 and suspend work at its Thailand factory for about 10 days starting March 30.

“Many countries have been quickly and extensively reinforcing their infection prevention measures including implementing curfews, retail business suspensions and restrictions on corporate activities,” the company said in a statement.

“Mazda has decided to adjust production at our production facilities globally in consideration of difficulties in parts procurement, the plummeting sales in overseas markets, and the uncertainty of future markets.”

Mazda’s announcement came just a day after Toyota said it would suspend operations at five assembly plants in Japan to match output to falling global demand.

Mazda said it will continue sales operations in Japan and China but that it will decide sales activities in other countries based in part on local government guidance aimed at slowing the transmission of the new coronavirus that triggered the Covid-19 pandemic.

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