Mazda has made the decision to return to pre-pandemic levels of operation beginning in August, the Japanese automaker said in a statement. Its manufacturing plants in Japan, Mexico and Thailand will resume normal operations, and “all adjustments implemented due to the spread of the novel coronavirus will end in July 2020,” it said.
For its operations in Japan, overtime hours and work on holidays will be resumed, the company added. Both Ujina plants in Hiroshima, as well as both Hofu plants in Yamaguchi will run on double work shifts, with no operation suspension days at all four plants. As of today, ‘almost all’ of its dealerships worldwide, including in Europe, have also resumed sales operations, said the carmaker.
Mazda began the gradual resumption of its operations from June, with its Ujina and Hofu production plants beginning with just day shifts and its Mexican operations also coming back online that month. The coronavirus pandemic has hit many manufacturers hard and Mazda is in the same boat, having requested 300 billion yen (RM12.1 billion) in financing from three of Japan’s megabanks.
The Hiroshima-based carmaker sustained a 14% drop in February sales and a 33% drop in March compared to the same months last year, compounding the brand’s struggles as it had been weathering tough times even before the pandemic hit. In November, it revised its operating profit outlook for the financial year that ended in March to 60 billion yen (RM2.4 billion), down 27% from the previous year.
Further afield, other automakers hit by the financial effects of the pandemic have requested aid as well. Toyota requested for 1 trillion yen, or RM40.4 billion in financing, and so have Nissan (500 billion yen, or RM20.2 billion), General Motors (US$16 billion, or RM69.4 billion) and Ford (US$15.4 billion, or RM66.8 billion).