Japan’s carmakers are slowly returning back to normal, hobbled only by unsure supply of parts and sometimes power. It will be slow going and full of surprises. One thing is for sure: The March 11 tsunami will have an ugly effect on carmakers’ books. Combined losses for the Japan’s carmakers and suppliers could “the biggest ever,” surpassing those during 2008 to 2009 financial crisis, Noriyuki Matsushima, an analyst in Tokyo at Citigroup Inc., told Bloomberg.
- Toyota has the highest market share in Japan, the most production capacity, and the highest exposure. Toyota could post net losses of 155 billion yen ($1.9 billion) in the three months ending June 30, and 241 billion yen for the six months ending Sept. 30, according to the average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
- Nissan’s six-month net loss is forecasted much lower at 48 billion yen ($593 million).
- For Honda, the analysts forecast a 37.4 billion yen ($462 million) profit for the six months ending Sept. 30.
Citigroup’s Matsushima said output reductions by Japanese carmakers may continue until April 2012: “Japan’s automakers will run out of inventory at overseas plants in the second quarter, so figures for that quarter may be lower than those in the first quarter, even as they begin to raise production levels.”