Japan's Car Industry Climbs Out Of The Hole
The Japanese car industry is slowly but surely producing and exporting itself out of the huge hole caused by the March 11 tsunami. The Japanese domestic market remains where it was before the catastrophe: In the dumps. This is the bottom line of August production, export and domestic sales data released today by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.
Japanese production, exports and sales, August 2011ManufacturerUnits producedChange YoYUnits exportedChange YoYUnits sold JPChange YoYTOYOTA252,37411.9%137,97719.8%98,376-24.4%NISSAN89,262-2.5%57,84834.1%44,537-19.2%MAZDA68,4495.6%58,47521.3%15,650-40.7%MITSUBISHI40,431-19.2%30,916-19.4%9,655-37.6%ISUZU13,456-11.9%9,772-16.0%5,10924.8%DAIHATSU49,0859.1%2,442-24.1%41,578-11.1%HONDA56,356-17.2%17,154-37.8%34,270-47.3%SUBARU28,665-14.2%18,310-5.6%10,972-22.0%UD TRUCKS1,970-16.9%1,141-8.2%8993.1%HINO9,69437.1%5,83114.4%4,06182.3%SUZUKI86,2155.9%20,002-2.0%43,118-6.0%MITSUBISHI FUSO7,94715.6%3,904-12.3%2,60915.3%LEXUS3,97767.2%Others19240.1%15,0274.3%TOTAL704,0961.8%363,7727.6%329,838-22.4%
For the first time in 11 months, Japan saw its domestic production rise by a modest 1.8 percent, but a rise is a rise. The rise goes mostly on account of Toyota and its Daihatsu and Hino divisions. All were up solidly. Production of Honda still has not quite recovered.
August exports of the Japanese car industry were 7.6 percent above August 2010. Again, Toyota carried most of the weight here, followed by Mazda and Nissan.
Sales in Japan are a completely different animal. They are grim. Trucks are up. Japan still needs a lot of them. The “others” column under sales refers to imports. They are up, too. September sales should be here by Monday.
From what I am hearing from Japan’s majors, the big turnaround in production and exports will gather steam in the last quarter 2011 and Q1 2012, with commensurate rises in exports. But will they make money? The dollar still fetches only 76 yen, and at that rate, nearly every car exported from Japan is exported at a loss.
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