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Japanese automakers halve global output as pandemic rages

Ripple effects feared as Mazda and Toyota idle domestic capacity

 Mazda will shut down this assembly plant in Japan's Hiroshima for 13 business days, starting March 28. (Photo courtesy of Mazda)

TOKYO -- Japanese automakers are temporarily slashing global production to half as demand plummets amid the new coronavirus outbreak, with Mazda Motor idling domestic assembly lines and Toyota Motor reducing output at home and abroad. 

Plant shutdowns by automakers are causing ripple effects on the whole sector employing 8.2% of the nation's workforce, prompting Honda Motor to adopt measures to blunt the financial impact on suppliers. 

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