Japanese vehicle output in April plunged 60.1% year on year to 292,001 units, a record monthly fall following the 11 March earthquake/tsunami in northeastern Japan.

The seventh straight year-on-year fall was larger than the previous record last March of 57.3%, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association told Kyodo News.

April volume was below 300,000 a month for the first time since January 1968 when the volume was 275,141 units, the association noted.

Car production fell 60.2% to 249,772 units while truck output declined 57.5% to 40,305 units and bus output slid 80% to 1,924 units.

Toyota saw a 78.4% fall in domestic production to 53,823 vehicles, Honda output plunged 81% to 14,168 units and Nissan Motor's tally declined 48.7% to 44,193 units.

April exports fell 67.8% to 126,061 vehicles, the lowest since data was first recorded in 1972 when comparable data became available.

Passenger car exports dropped 67.3% to 113,291 units, and truck shipments sank 68.2% to 10,917 units.