By on March 1, 2013

Japanese automobile sales were down eight percent in  February 2013, compared to the same month in the prior year. This according to consolidated data by the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Mini Vehicles Association.

Regular vehicle sales Japan February 2013
Manufacturer Feb ’13 Feb ’12 YoY YTD ’13 YTD ’12 YoY
Daihatsu 159 287 -44.6% 354 486 -27.2%
Hino 3,523 3,094 13.9% 5,842 5,451 7.2%
Honda 28,736 50,440 -43.0% 49,696 94,709 -47.5%
Isuzu 4,417 4,657 -5.2% 7,512 8,101 -7.3%
Lexus 3,647 3,554 2.6% 7,211 6,712 7.4%
Mazda 15,720 14,115 11.4% 28,355 26,977 5.1%
Mitsubishi 7,063 5,655 24.9% 12,323 10,404 18.4%
Mitsubishi Fuso 2,602 2,638 -1.4% 4,219 4,646 -9.2%
Nissan 53,928 55,679 -3.1% 98,138 95,329 2.9%
Subaru 10,252 7,606 34.8% 20,339 13,523 50.4%
Suzuki 7,147 7,613 -6.1% 12,325 13,984 -11.9%
Toyota 135,475 158,877 -14.7% 240,830 283,510 -15.1%
UD Trucks 598 690 -13.3% 1,081 1,246 -13.2%
Other 19,132 18,308 4.5% 33,507 31,402 6.7%
Total 292,399 333,213 -12.2% 521,732 596,480 -12.5%
Domestic 266,704 308,392 -13.5% 476,053 553,722 -14.0%
Imports 25,695 24,821 3.5% 45,679 42,758 6.8%
Data courtesy Japan Automobile Dealers Association

Sales of regular vehicles, tallied by the Japan Automobile Dealers Association, were down 12.2 percent, a sixth month of decline after the stop of government subsidies. Sales of imported vehicles resist the downtrend. In February, nearly 10 percent of all regular cars were made outside of Japan, 6.5 percent by non-Japanese makers.

Mini vehicle sales Japan February 2013
Manufacturer Feb ’13 Feb ’12 YoY YTD ’13 YTD ’12 YoY
Suzuki 52,090 52,018 0.1% 96,749 94,346 2.5%
Daihatsu 59,765 63,969 -6.6% 105,810 117,763 -10.2%
Mitsubishi 6,283 8,875 -29.2% 11,256 16,222 -30.6%
Subaru 5,212 9,572 -45.5% 8,917 18,327 -51.3%
Honda 37,663 26,715 41.0% 72,356 46,494 55.6%
Mazda 4,844 5,247 -7.7% 9,988 9,870 1.2%
Nissan 15,655 16,440 -4.8% 27,858 29,771 -6.4%
Toyota 3,414 3,574 -4.5% 6,159 6,273 -1.8%
Other 1 3 -66.7% 2 4 -50.0%
Total 184,927 186,413 -0.8% 339,095 339,070 0.0%
Data courtesy Japan Mini Vehicles Association

Sales of minivehicles, recorded by the Japan Mini Vehicles Association, were down slightly in February, and are flat for the year. Minivehicles  had seen growth in the past months, even after the subsides expired.

Total vehicle sales Japan February 2013
Manufacturer Feb ’13 Feb ’12 YoY YTD ’13 YTD ’12 YoY
Daihatsu 59,924 64,256 -6.7% 106,164 118,249 -10.2%
Hino 3,523 3,094 13.9% 5,842 5,451 7.2%
Honda 66,399 77,155 -13.9% 122,052 141,203 -13.6%
Isuzu 4,417 4,657 -5.2% 7,512 8,101 -7.3%
Lexus 3,647 3,554 2.6% 7,211 6,712 7.4%
Mazda 20,564 19,362 6.2% 38,343 36,847 4.1%
Mitsubishi 13,346 14,530 -8.1% 23,579 26,626 -11.4%
Mitsubishi Fuso 2,602 2,638 -1.4% 4,219 4,646 -9.2%
Nissan 69,583 72,119 -3.5% 125,996 125,100 0.7%
Subaru 15,464 17,178 -10.0% 29,256 31,850 -8.1%
Suzuki 59,237 59,631 -0.7% 109,074 108,330 0.7%
Toyota 138,889 162,451 -14.5% 246,989 289,783 -14.8%
UD Trucks 598 690 -13.3% 1,081 1,246 -13.2%
Other 19,133 18,311 4.5% 33,509 31,406 6.7%
Total 477,326 519,626 -8.1% 860,827 935,550 -8.0%

On a consolidated basis, sales are down, but still not the -25 percent that had been predicted for after the end of the subsidies.

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17 Comments on “Japan In February 2013: Down 8 Percent...”


  • avatar
    Summicron

    Is the American cosmetics industry missing a huge market?
    Is that what the photo is telling us?
    Otoko desu ne?

  • avatar
    EquipmentJunkie

    Whoa! Look at Honda’s home market numbers. Is Honda walking around with a turd in their pocket?

    • 0 avatar
      EquipmentJunkie

      On a serious note, those numbers point to a dramatic shift ocurring in Japan. If I have learned anything from the examination of US auto sales data over the years, it is that you rarely see dramatic shifts in sales gains or losses. Gradual trends take place rather than huge gains or losses. Japan is a different market than the US, but these numbers show major shifts top to bottom. The question is, what is driving the changes? Economic pressures, currency fluctuations (unlikely), or something else?

      • 0 avatar

        There is nothing dramatic, at least not in these numbers. By the end of 2012, the Japanese market was up 27.5 percent after government subsidies ended in September.

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/japan-in-december-2012-a-much-better-year-than-some-predicted/

        This had a serious pull forward-effect into the first half of 2012, with which we compare now. Japanese industry expected a 25 percent drop after subsidies ended, it didn’t happen.

        If you want serious changes, you need to look to Europe.

        At Honda, you better look for something else than a turd in the pocket. Look at the bottom list.

        Honda’s Japanese sales shifted massively from regular cars to minivehicles.

        • 0 avatar
          EquipmentJunkie

          I see. So, there is another major factor driving the changes other than “organic” market forces. I did look at the bottom list but it also seemed to have lots of motion outside of Honda, too.

          I didn’t make my point very well. I was trying to explain that there is a lot of movement within brands and vehicle classes.

          Yes, Europe today is like the US in ’09.

        • 0 avatar
          th009

          Still, overall, Honda is down well more than the market, and the shift to Kei sales cannot be good for profitability.

          Is the breakdown of the imports available? Is some of the Toyota (also down more than the market) or Honda moving more production outside Japan?

          • 0 avatar

            The import breakdown will be available next week. January saw no significant change. VW still on top and growing. Honda imports nothing. Toyota’s and Nissan’s imports actually were down in Jan. I’d say most of the “Japanese” imports were Nissan and Mitsubishis. The “Other” number are foreign imports. “Japanese” imports are the difference between “Imports” and “Other.”

          • 0 avatar
            th009

            Thanks, Bertel, that makes sense.

      • 0 avatar
        PenguinBoy

        Japan is facing the same demographic headwinds as Europe, with a rapidly aging population and falling birthrate. Unlike North America, they don’t seem to be offsetting the declining birthrate with immigration.

        Their economy has been bouncing along the bottom for over 20 years, and their debt is by far the worst of any industrial country. Their economy continues to hollow out thanks to high production costs.

        Because of this, I would expect a slow decline in the size of the JDM over the next several years.

        • 0 avatar

          How about the next several decades?

        • 0 avatar
          raph

          ”North America, they don’t seem to be offsetting the declining birthrate with immigration.”

          Boy that’s a viscous cycle, keep America stocked full with people so its an employers market. Cheap wages and fewer benefits for everyone…. woohoo!

          • 0 avatar
            Summicron

            “Cheap wages and fewer benefits for everyone…. woohoo!”

            And higher taxes of every kind for the schools, health care, prisons, police and case workers. Uncontrolled immigration is just piling-on more misery.

          • 0 avatar
            th009

            Immigration does not need to be uncontrolled. Countries such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand seem to be able to manage it well.

        • 0 avatar

          Overlay the age distribution of Japan with that of Germany, and you will be in for a big surprise.

          The problem is MUCH bigger in most parts of Europe than in Japan.

          • 0 avatar

            Except that Germany hoovers Turks and Russians by millions, and Japan does not. Japan is a dead country walking, and Germany is gonna be all right if they jettison PIIGS.

  • avatar
    raph

    Hmm… I just read an article about deflation in Japan right now prompting buyers to hold off on large purchases hoping that lower pricing occurs.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s just a bunch of Keyesian lies. Deflation is the only thing that keeps food on the table for the Japanese. The economists on the take of Wall Street fatcats always pile up on deflation as something horrible, because they would prefer massive hyperinflation is the alternative, because inflation transfers the wealth from small savers to the ultra-rich and large financial corporations who can embed the cost of inflation into the financial products that they offer. Duh.

      Deflation has certain implications in the international trade, which are not always positive, just like everything really. But all these sob stories about modified consumer behaviour are just that: propaganda.


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