Japan new vehicle sales fall by record 51%

Japan’s domestic sales of new cars, trucks and buses logged their biggest-ever drop in April, an industry group said Monday as the March quake and tsunami hit production and supplies to dealers.

The sales came to 108,824 units in April, down 51 percent from a year earlier, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said.

The drop, far steeper than a 37 percent fall in March, was the biggest since the data began being recorded in 1968. The previous record fall was 45.1 percent in May 1974 when Japan was reeling from the oil crisis.

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