TOKYO -- Mazda Motor Corp. booked a 5.2 billion yen ($62.8 million) charge in the latest quarter to cover earthquake damage and said it could take until the end of the year to reach prequake production levels.
CEO Takashi Yamanouchi said the utilization rate of Mazda's plants in Japan will range from 70 percent to 80 percent in May and June. That will increase in October, he said.
"From the fall, in the second half, we hope to get back to full production," Yamanouchi said today at the company's earnings announcement.
Mazda's year-end time frame comes after Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. said they also aim to return to normal production schedules within the year. Japanese automakers are scrambling to ramp up output following the March 11 earthquake that shattered the country's supply chain and paralyzed assembly plants at home and abroad.
Mazda, which is based in the western city of Hiroshima, was not as badly affected by the quake, which was centered off the country's northeast Pacific coast. Its two plants in Japan have been operating steadily, but at limited output, since April 13.