Japanese vehicle production plunged a record 25.2% year on year last month, to 725,552 vehicles, the steepest decline since comparable records began in 1967, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers' Association said.

Passenger car output fell 25.1% to 625,921 while truck volume fell 27.8% to 89,023. Bus production rose 0.7% to 10,608.

Japan's overall auto production edged down 0.3% last year, the first decline in seven years, the association said.

"The environment surrounding the industry will remain severe this year," a spokesman told Agence France-Presse.