By The Numbers, Japanese Edition

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
by the numbers japanese edition

The U.S. isn't the only market where car sales have stumbled, tripped and hit their head on the coffee table. Japan Times reports that new vehicle sales in The Land of the Rising Sun sank to a 35-year low in 2007. The Japan Auto Dealer's Association recorded slightly fewer than 3.5m new vehicle sales. Automobiles with engines larger than 660cc were down 7.6 percent from 2006, while sales of minicars (engines smaller than 660cc) fell 5.1 percent. Toyota took a huge hit on their home turf, dropping 6.2 percent for the year. Honda, Nissan and Mazda managed to lose less. Analysts blame rising fuel prices, a shrinking population and a decline in wages. Just like GM and Ford (and to a lesser extent, Chrysler), foreign sales are buoying the car companies' bottom lines. Even they're doing relatively well, the current U.S. sales slowdown will take their toll on the Japanese corporate motherships.

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  • Quasimondo Quasimondo on Jan 08, 2008

    In the end, whether it's a loss of market share or the contracting of a market, it all amounts to the same thing: They're not selling like they want to.

  • Mark MacInnis Mark MacInnis on Jan 08, 2008

    "In the end, whether it’s a loss of market share or the contracting of a market, it all amounts to the same thing: They’re not selling like they want to." .....or like they need to. Quas...the beancounters calculate p and l by amortizing fixed costs over projected units sold. A shrinking sales base means fewer units to ABSORB fixed costs, and hence smaller margins and big red ink blots on the profit charts. Shrinking margins means unhappy shareholders and bankers - just ask anybody from Ford....

  • Kevin Kevin on Jan 08, 2008
    Katie: If the United States’ market is contracting, then how can Japanese makers post record sales? There has to be some loss of market for a maker to post a gain, surely? He was pointing out that the Japan/German suppliers are not losing share in *their own countries*. Of course they are gaining share in the US away from Detroit.

  • Andyjanes Andyjanes on Jan 08, 2008

    Wow Katie, you like cars and anime. I think I'm in love ;) As for the story, It seems to me that whatever country you are from, national brands matter less (ask Fiat, Renaul and PSA and they'll confirm that) Andy