Japan In September 2011: Auto Sales Up. Sukoshi

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

For the first time in 13, yes 13 months, Japanese new car sales registered a small uptick. Small (sukoshi) it is, 1.7 percent, compared to September 2010. And that only, because September 2010 was bloodbath.

When we sang our Sayonara to growth a year ago, we didn’t expect it would be THAT bad: For the 9 months of this year, Japanese car sales are down by a whopping 25.9 percent. Following data provided by the Japan Automotive Dealer Association. The numbers do not include minivehicles. (Careful when applying the data to minivehicle-heavy makers such as Daihatsu or Suzuki…)

Japan, Sales regular vehicles, September 2011

ManufacturerSept ’11Sept ’10ChangeFYTD’11FYTD’10ChangeDaihatsu333855-61.1%2,1375,075-57.9%Hino4,5142,97951.5%24,93022,44911.1%Honda43,42242,7231.6%278,455394,953-29.5%Isuzu4,5835,309-13.7%30,68034,724-11.6%Lexus5,7703,60859.9%32,02027,74615.4%Mazda17,40916,0608.4%112,900153,708-26.5%Mitsubishi6,4797,491-13.5%42,89259,359-27.7%Mitsubishi Fuso3,1092,75912.7%18,35818,727-2.0%Nissan53,42757,879-7.7%338,710417,521-18.9%Subaru9,07410,374-12.5%56,33366,424-15.2%Suzuki7,3695,43735.5%58,90246,08527.8%Toyota131,072130,1350.7%813,5921,255,509-35.2%UD Trucks1,02462763.3%5,7836,490-10.9%Other26,20522,42716.8%151,259144,7764.5%Total313,790308,6631.7%1,966,9512,653,546-25.9%

(FYTD: Fiscal Year To Date: Cumulative sales since April)

The Japan Mini Vehicles Association does not have good news: September sales were down 9.1 percent in September, and down 19.9 percent for January – September 2011.

Japan, Sales mini vehicles, September 2011

ManufacturerSept ’11Sept ’10ChangeYTD’11YTD’10ChangeSuzuki46,08548,684-5.3%353,731445,238-20.6%Daihatsu52,09260,579-14.0%393,318483,730-18.7%Mitsubishi9,84311,012-10.6%72,96686,592-15.7%Subaru8,4509,799-13.8%60,47579,899-24.3%Honda12,09114,273-15.3%96,030131,226-26.8%Mazda4,9504,5359.2%34,78442,051-17.3%Nissan14,67414,4041.9%105,837117,998-10.3%Toyota2160216Other16-83.3%2977-62.3%Total148,402163,292-9.1%1,117,3861,386,811-19.4%

(YTD: Year To Date: Cumulative sales since January)

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Alluster Alluster on Oct 03, 2011

    Wow. Impressive growth by Lexus. I wonder why Nissan is down though. Is it because Nissan had stellar sales following the tsunami when everyone else was down or could it be, the japanese are punishing them for threatening to move production out and or source more parts from outside japan? oh total sales including mini vehicles are still down though, by 2.1% ================================================= TOTAL 313,790 (+ 1.7) Cars 280,379 (+ 0.8) Trucks 32,565 (+10.1) Toyota Motor 136,842 (+ 2.3) - Toyota brand 131,072 (+ 0.7) - Lexus* 5,770 (+59.9) Nissan Motor 53,427 (- 7.7) Honda Motor 43,422 (+ 1.6) Mazda Motor 17,409 (+ 8.4) Mitsubishi Motors 6,479 (-13.5) Suzuki Motor 7,369 (+35.5) Fuji Heavy 9,074 (-12.5) Imports 33,980 (+13.3) *Lexus is the luxury brand of Toyota Motor. Sales in Japan

  • Pete Zaitcev Pete Zaitcev on Oct 03, 2011

    Good going, Bertel. Midori no Hibi was surprisingly delightful, given the premise. Oh, wait, where were we... Lexus, right. Well, nobody cares about Lexus :-)

  • Lou_BC Too much money.
  • Lou_BC "The Cannonball Run" "The Gumball Rally""Corvette Summer""Duel""Gone in 60 Seconds"
  • Wjtinfwb I really don't care about charging stations, EVs, their drivers or the issues that seem to plague them and the ownership experience. My use case requires much better range and fueling options than what EVs offer, at least current state. If an EV works for you, great. It doesn't work for me and that's OK as well. hat I object to however, is the Government involvement in a personal use decision and trying to force a technology into widespread adoption when it and its support network is clearly not ready. I also object to Federal dollars, gleaned from the taxpayers being used to subsidize this nascent technology and most importantly, I object to the gaslighting by the Administration that tries to convince consumers that range isn't an issue. Recharging isn't an issue. Cold weather isn't an issue. Fires aren't an issue. The ownership experience disappointment is validated by the poor resale value of EV's and the McKinsey report that states that 50% of EV owners plan to switch back to a gas powered vehicle. I don't have the disposable income to make a 40k mistake and take a beating on getting rid of it. But again, if it works for you, that's what matters. Cheers.
  • MKizzy The top executives of many of the Fortune 500 companies support GOP candidates with their votes and donations while happily filling their corporate coffers with Progressive dollars. Unlike Musk however, they're smart enough to at least try to keep it to themselves. Perhaps Musk's political openness combined with his seemingly declining interest in Tesla is a sign he'll abandon Tesla by the end of the decade.
  • Jpolicke I don't know of any gas stations with a single pump.