Some forecasters expected Japan’s appetite for new cars to drop by more than 20 percent in the last quarter after government incentives expired in September. So far, it is not happening. Sales of new cars, trucks and buses declined a minuscule 0.4 percent in November. Elsewhere you may read that the market was down 3.3 percent, but they are not giving you the whole story. Sales of mini vehicles, or kei cars actually were up in November, pulling the market nearly completely out of minus territory.
Sales of regular vehicles were down 3.3 percent to 243,974 units, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association JADA said today. Honda’s sales dropped an alarming 40.4 percent, those of Nissan are down 12.2 percent. Don’t be too alarmed about Honda, they made it more than up elsewhere …
Data provided by the Japan Mini Vehicle Association paint a different picture for kei cars. Honda tore into the kei car market with a number of (slightly) different NBOXes. Honda’s kei sales were up a huge 275.5 percent and helped lift the market for mini vehicles by 4.6 percent in November.
|Total vehicle sales Japan November 2012|
|Manufacturer||Nov ’12||Nov ’11||YoY||YTD ’12||YTD ’11||YoY|
Consolidated, it looks like this. The market is down only slightly. Nissan’s COO Toshiyuki Shiga said in a recent interview with The Nikkei [sub] that he thinks “sales declines in response to the end of the subsidy program should be limited.” And indeed, that appears to be the case.