A new year started in Japanese auto sales, and the easy double digit up times while comparing with a disaster 2011 are over. It’s getting worse: This year, Japan’s new car sales compare to 2012 sales on government-speed: Japanese could collect hefty subsidies in most of 2012, no such largesse this year. In January, new car sales are not down 12.9 percent, as the Dow Jones News Wire make you believe. They are down 7.8 percent, as correctly reported by Reuters. But down is down. Please come to the tables.
What is down 12.9 percent are regular vehicles. The losses are pretty much across the board as far as the large OEMs go. Don’t jump to conclusions at Honda, wait for the next table.
What is up by an astounding 1 percent are sales of mini vehicles, or kei cars. This segment had a surprising resurgence in Japan , and sales are still trending up, even when compared to a very high base in 2012. As you can see, Honda is shifting JDM sales massively to kei cars. Their NBOX is a hit.
|Total vehicle sales Japan January 2013|
|Manufacturer||Jan ’13||Jan ’12||YoY||YTD ’13||YTD ’12||YoY|
This is the consolidated picture. For January. Japans automaker believe that the Japanese domestic market will go down more than 10 percent in 2013 . In 2012, Japan had the best sales since 2007. Japanese bought 5.57 million cars in 2012, up 27.5 percent. There won’t be a repeat-performance this year.