May Sales in Japan Weak, Imports Strong

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
may sales in japan weak imports strong

May sales were down in Japan, and this time around, small kei cars could not bail out their bigger brethren. Imports into the allegedly closed market Japan on the other hand are zooming, despite the weaker yen that makes imports more expensive.

Regular vehicle sales Japan May 2013ManufacturerMay ’13May ’12YoYYTD ’13YTD ’12YoYDaihatsu170225-24.4%8821,273-30.7%Hino2,6142,952-11.4%18,55617,5895.5%Honda18,31831,576-42.0%129,070224,113-42.4%Isuzu3,6713,741-1.9%23,56125,147-6.3%Lexus3,3953,1776.9%18,95518,7820.9%Mazda13,00113,193-1.5%73,40975,315-2.5%Mitsubishi3,0593,486-12.2%27,12126,0074.3%Mitsubishi Fuso2,6102,740-4.7%13,58414,767-8.0%Nissan33,22532,9270.9%228,969235,797-2.9%Subaru9,1105,49265.9%56,02439,92240.3%Suzuki5,8367,794-25.1%35,33341,468-14.8%Toyota102,735110,714-7.2%641,062722,695-11.3%UD Trucks660765-13.7%3,3353,933-15.2%Other20,69517,58417.7%104,25892,97412.1%Total219,099236,366-7.3%1,374,1191,539,782-10.8%Domestic193,131215,552-10.4%1,238,0221,419,531-12.8%Imports25,96820,81424.8%136,097120,25113.2%Data courtesy Japan Automobile Dealers Association

Sales of regular cars were down 7.3 percent. It would have been worse without a helping hand from the gaijin. Imports are up 24.8 percent in May after surging 35.5 percent in April. Quite possibly, buyers of imported cars rush to the showrooms before the weaker yen makes the car more expensive. Sales of domestics are down 10.4 percent. This according to data released by the Japan Automobile Dealers Association. Sales through May are down 10.8 percent with imports up 13.2 percent.

Mini vehicle sales Japan May 2013ManufacturerMay ’13May ’12YoYYTD ’13YTD ’12YoYSuzuki46,88947,130-0.5%264,728262,1071.0%Daihatsu51,26655,232-7.2%286,410312,725-8.4%Mitsubishi3,9186,334-38.1%28,04339,968-29.8%Subaru3,9224,712-16.8%24,24241,523-41.6%Honda27,12626,3473.0%179,023131,83535.8%Mazda4,7253,90621.0%24,52123,8612.8%Nissan7,30411,421-36.0%62,22473,914-15.8%Toyota3,3993,496-2.8%17,50516,2817.5%Other03-100.0%519-73.7%Total148,549158,581-6.3%886,701902,233-1.7%Data courtesy Japan Mini Vehicles Association

Sales of minivehicles stopped growing and fell a sympathetic 6.3 percent in May. Kei cars are down 1.7 percent percent for the first five months , the Japan Light Motor Vehicle Association says. Keis hold 40 .4 percent of the Japanese market.

Total vehicle sales Japan May 2013ManufacturerMay ’13May ’12YoYYTD ’13YTD ’12YoYDaihatsu51,43655,457-7.3%287,292313,998-8.5%Hino2,6142,952-11.4%18,55617,5895.5%Honda45,44457,923-21.5%308,093355,948-13.4%Isuzu3,6713,741-1.9%23,56125,147-6.3%Lexus3,3953,1776.9%18,95518,7820.9%Mazda17,72617,0993.7%97,93099,176-1.3%Mitsubishi6,9779,820-29.0%55,16465,975-16.4%Mitsubishi Fuso2,6102,740-4.7%13,58414,767-8.0%Nissan40,52944,348-8.6%291,193309,711-6.0%Subaru13,03210,20427.7%80,26681,445-1.4%Suzuki52,72554,924-4.0%300,061303,575-1.2%Toyota106,134114,210-7.1%658,567738,976-10.9%UD Trucks660765-13.7%3,3353,933-15.2%Other20,69517,58717.7%104,26392,99312.1%Total367,648394,947-6.9%2,260,8202,442,015-7.4%

Total vehicles sales are down 6.9 percent.

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  • Bd2 Bd2 on Jun 04, 2013

    Except BS left out the fact that "imports" doesn't necessarily mean non-Japanese brands as the Japanese automakers import certain models from overseas (for instance, Nissan imports the Micra in substantial nos. from Thailand). Aside from the Germans who have a decent share of the luxury market in Japan, (but still, the Germans do better in Korea which is an overall smaller auto market), there really isn't much by way of foreign mainstream brands doing well in China.

  • 56m65711446 Well, I had a suburban auto repair shop in those days.
  • Dukeisduke Yikes - reading the recall info from NHTSA, this sounds like the Hyundai/Kia 2.4l Theta II "engine fire" recall, since it involves an engine block or oil pan "breach", so basically, throwing a rod:"Description of the Safety Risk : Engine oil and/or fuel vapor that accumulates near a sufficiently hot surface, below the combustion initiation flame speed, may ignite resulting in an under hood fire, and increasing the risk of injury. Description of the Cause :Isolated engine manufacturing issues have resulted in 2.5L HEV/PHEV engine failures involving engine block or oil pan breach. In the event of an engine block or oil pan breach, the HEV/PHEV system continues to propel the vehicle allowing the customer to continue to drive the vehicle. As the customer continues to drive after a block breach, oil and/or fuel vapor continues to be expelled and accumulates near ignition sources, primarily expected to be the exhaust system. Identification of Any Warning that can Occur :Engine failure is expected to produce loud noises (example: metal-to-metal clank) audible to the vehicle’s occupants. An engine failure will also result in a reduction in engine torque. In Owner Letters mailed to customers, Ford will advise customers to safely park and shut off the engine as promptly as possible upon hearing unexpected engine noises, after experiencing an unexpected torque reduction, or if smoke is observed emanating from the engine compartment."
  • Dukeisduke In an ideal world, cars would be inspected in the way the MoT in the UK does it, or the TÜV in Germany. But realistically, a lot of people can't afford to keep their cars to such a high standard since they need them for work, and widespread public transit isn't a thing here.I would like the inspections to stick around (I've lived in Texas all my life, and annual inspections have always been a thing), but there's so much cheating going on (and more and more people don't bother to get their cars inspected or registration renewed), so without rigorous enforcement (which is basically a cop noticing your windshield sticker is out of date, or pulling you over for an equipment violation), there's no real point anymore.
  • Zipper69 Arriving in Florida from Europe and finding ZERO inspection procedures I envisioned roads crawling with wrecks held together with baling wire, duct tape and prayer.Such proved NOT to be the case, plenty of 20-30 year old cars and trucks around but clearly "unsafe at any speed" vehicles are few and far between.Could this be because the median age here is 95, so a lot of low mileage vehicles keep entering the market as the owners expire?
  • Zipper69 At the heart of GM’s resistance to improving the safety of its fuel systems was a cost benefit analysis done by Edward Ivey which concluded that it was not cost effective for GM to spend more than $2.20 per vehicle to prevent a fire death. When deposed about his cost benefit analysis, Mr. Ivey was asked whether he could identify a more hazardous location for the fuel tank on a GM pickup than outside the frame. Mr. Ivey responded, “Well yes…You could put in on the front bumper.”