Japan's January Carmageddon: Poof Goes The Dragon

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
japan s january carmageddon poof goes the dragon

All day, Japanese carmakers have been issuing January production and sales numbers. They are horrible. Three makers report production reductions of around 60 percent. Mazda and Mitsubishi reported export reduction of over 70 percent. There is a bloodbath in the making in the land of the cherry blossom.

Honda posted year-on-year falls in domestic production and sales, exports and overseas output in January, the Nikkei [sub] reports. Domestically, production fell 23 percent to 77,224 vehicles and sales slid 23.4 percent to 34,160 units, both marking the third consecutive month of decline. Exports dropped by 46.3 percent to 32,934 units and overseas production tumbled 37.9 percent to 149,327 vehicles, both down for the fourth straight month. Compared to others, Honda is doing fairly well, especially due to its burgeoning motorcycle business in the 3rd world. And that was the good news . . . .

Mitsubishi Motors’ Japanese domestic output in January plunged 65 percent on the year to 25,392 units, marking the third straight month of decline, the Nikkei [sub] says. Mitsubishi Motors’ sales in the home market shrank for the 17th consecutive month, dropping 36.3 percent to 9,663 units. Exports tumbled 77.4 percent to 12,936 units, for the third straight month of decline. Overseas output retreated 35.3 percent to 27,947 units, down for the 11th straight month.

Mazda’s January domestic production evaporated 66.2 percent from a year earlier to 31,130 units, the third consecutive month of decline. This according to the Nikkei [sub]. Mazda exported 20,207 vehicles in the month, down 72.1 percent and also the third straight month of decline. Domestic sales fell by 29.1 percent to 14,953 units and overseas production plunged 52.2 percent to 14,418 units, both down for the fourth straight month.

Toyota‘s Japanese domestic output plunged 40.3% year-on-year to 209,224 units, marking the sixth straight month of decline, the Nikkei [sub] writes. Toyota’s January exports plunged 56.2% to 91,209 vehicles, the fourth consecutive month of decline. Domestic sales fell 23.4% to 83,311 units and overseas production fell 44.8% to 204,061 units, both down for the sixth straight month.

Nissan’s Japanese domestic output cratered 59% year on year to 47,477 units in January, the fourth straight month of decline, says the Nikkei [sub]. Domestic sales fell 24.6% to 41,768 vehicles, marking the sixth consecutive month of decline. Exports slid for the fourth month in a row, down 62.1% to 27,578 units, while overseas output fell for the sixth straight month, down 51.2% to 97,809 units.

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  • Oldyak Oldyak on Feb 25, 2009

    this news just makes me SOOOO sad! Particularly the news about Toyota. What happened to world domination? maybe next year?

  • Burkey Devitt Burkey Devitt on Mar 25, 2011

    Using that photo, which depicts such a horrible sin on the part of "our side" toward the Japanese, trivializes the nightmares they must still experience, whoever is still left. The sickness, the devastation, the utter depravity of it all...if you read the history books about dropping the A-bomb on Japan, you will find that Japan was begging us to surrender. I don't believe for two seconds that this saved lives. It destroyed lives, millions of them, innocent lives of men and women who, like me, could not control their tyrannical government. It's a great evil. Now the Japanese are re-traumatized and devastated all over again. You ought to take that photo down. I don't mean to lecture, but if you think it's OK to make light of a nuclear disaster, then you should hear from someone, at least, that it's way uncool.

  • MRF 95 T-Bird Back when the Corolla consisted of a wide range of body styles. This wagon, both four door and two door sedans, a shooting brake like three door hatch as well as a sports coupe hatchback. All of which were on the popular cars on the road where I resided.
  • Wjtinfwb Jeez... I've got 3 Ford's and have been a defender due to my overall good experiences but this is getting hard to defend. Thinking the product durability testing that used to take months to rack up 100k miles or more is being replaced with computer simulations that just aren't causing these real-world issues to pop up. More time at the proving ground please...
  • Wjtinfwb Looks like Mazda put more effort into sprucing up a moribund product than Chevy did with the soon to be euthanized '24 Camaro.
  • Wjtinfwb I've seen worse on the highways around Atlanta, usually with a refrigerator or washer wedged into the trunk and secured with recycled twine...
  • Wjtinfwb Surprising EB Flex hasn't weighed in yet on it being the subject of a recall...