The Japanese car market is in the midst of the worst crisis since 1978. The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association expects auto sales in Japan to fall to a 34-year low in the current fiscal year that ends in March 2012. This as a result of the severe production drop, triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
JAMA said it expects Japan’s domestic auto sales to fall 3.3 percent from a year earlier to 4.450 million vehicles. That would be the lowest level since March 1978, says The Nikkei [sub].
As companies are solving supply problems and are ramping up production, JAMA expects sales to pick up over the second half of the fiscal year when JAMA forecasts a 17.4 percent rise in sales for the seven months to March. This compares with and cannot quit make up for the 28.6 percent drop in sales in the first five months through August.
All in all, JAMA expects “overall levels of demand to be sluggish,” as JAMA president and Nissan COO Toshiyuki Shiga said at a press conference today.