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Japan in October 2012: Kei Cars Cushion Blow

3 November 2012 - The truth about cars

Japan in October 2012: Kei Cars Cushion Blow

Japanese subsidies for eco-cars expired in September, and analysts predicted a hard landing due to pulled-forward sales. In a way, this happened, but the fall was not as hard as expected.

In September, sales on all automobiles in Japan were down  3.4 %.  This month, they are down 5.7 %. The fall would have been harder, would it not have been cushioned by the resilience of a Japanese oddity, the Kei car.

Regular vehicle sales Japan October 2012     

Manufacturer

Oct ’12

Oct ’11

YoY

YTD ’12

YTD ’11

YoY

Daihatsu

233

441

-47.2%

2,536

2,578

-1.6%

Hino

2,876

2,794

2.9%

34,917

27,724

25.9%

Honda

20,006

36,355

-45.0%

385,469

314,810

22.4%

Isuzu

3,621

2,937

23.3%

49,844

33,617

48.3%

Lexus

3,128

4,308

-27.4%

37,528

36,328

3.3%

Mazda

9,154

11,457

-20.1%

145,832

124,357

17.3%

Mitsubishi

5,376

4,063

32.3%

51,657

46,955

10.0%

Mitsubishi Fuso

2,555

2,931

-12.8%

29,124

21,289

36.8%

Nissan

34,753

33,631

3.3%

440,766

372,341

18.4%

Subaru

8,170

5,785

41.2%

84,891

62,118

36.7%

Suzuki

4,945

6,025

-17.9%

77,982

64,927

20.1%

Toyota

114,405

122,208

-6.4%

1,389,389

935,800

48.5%

UD Trucks

707

855

-17.3%

7,593

6,638

14.4%

Other

15,614

14,137

10.4%

194,343

165,396

17.5%

Total

225,543

247,927

-9.0%

2,931,871

2,214,878

32.4%

Data courtesy Japan Automobile Dealers Association

 

Sales of regular vehicles were down 9 % in Japan, with Honda taking the biggest hit of Japan’s big three.  This according to the Japanese Automobile Dealer Organization JADA.  You may read elsewhere that the Japanese car market is down by that number, but it is not. A full 37 % of Japanese auto sales do not show up in this statistic.

Mini vehicle sales Japan October 2012             

Manufacturer

Oct ’12

Oct ’11

YoY

YTD ’12

YTD ’11

YoY

Suzuki

41,494

39,263

5.7%

504,300

392,994

28.3%

Daihatsu

44,372

52,148

-14.9%

585,797

445,466

31.5%

Mitsubishi

4,744

6,074

-21.9%

69,913

79,039

-11.5%

Subaru

2,610

6,493

-59.8%

63,535

66,967

-5.1%

Honda

23,885

10,306

131.8%

264,788

106,336

149.0%

Mazda

4,009

3,822

4.9%

45,545

38,606

18.0%

Nissan

9,769

13,225

-26.1%

133,560

119,063

12.2%

Toyota

2,903

1,845

57.3%

37,926

2,061

1740.2%

Other

4

8

-50.0%

41

37

10.8%

Total

133,790

133,184

0.5%

1,705,405

1,250,569

36.4%

Data courtesy Japan Automobile Dealers Association

 

Sales of that Japanese  foible, the mini vehicle, or Kei car, actually were up slightly, 0.5 % to  133,790 units,  the Japan Mini Vehicles Association says.  The 0.6 liter  midget mobiles have seen an amazing resurgence recently. 1.7 million Keis were sold in Japan through October. Sales in the segment were driven by Honda’s N-Box. In September, nearly 20,000 units changed hands. The car received support from the N-Box +, and today from the N-one, a retro-styled Kei that took its cute cues from the N360, the first mass-produced Honda Kei, which was introduced in 1967.

Total vehicle sales Japan October 2012                

Manufacturer

Oct ’12

Oct ’11

YoY

YTD ’12

YTD ’11

YoY

Daihatsu

44,605

52,589

-15.2%

588,333

448,044

31.3%

Hino

2,876

2,794

2.9%

34,917

27,724

25.9%

Honda

43,891

46,661

-5.9%

650,257

421,146

54.4%

Isuzu

3,621

2,937

23.3%

49,844

33,617

48.3%

Lexus

3,128

4,308

-27.4%

37,528

36,328

3.3%

Mazda

13,163

15,279

-13.8%

191,377

162,963

17.4%

Mitsubishi

10,120

10,137

-0.2%

121,570

125,994

-3.5%

Mitsubishi Fuso

2,555

2,931

-12.8%

29,124

21,289

36.8%

Nissan

44,522

46,856

-5.0%

574,326

491,404

16.9%

Subaru

10,780

12,278

-12.2%

148,426

129,085

15.0%

Suzuki

46,439

45,288

2.5%

582,282

457,921

27.2%

Toyota

117,308

124,053

-5.4%

1,427,315

937,861

52.2%

UD Trucks

707

855

-17.3%

7,593

6,638

14.4%

Other

15,618

14,145

10.4%

194,384

165,433

17.5%

Total

359,333

381,111

-5.7%

4,637,276

3,465,447

33.8%

 

Consolidating regular cars with Keis,  the big picture looks like this. The market is 5.9 % lower than in October 2011. Despite a little, and less than expected weakness in September and October, both Honda and Toyota  have grown their sales by more than 40 % through October. Toyota’s group sales including  Daihatsu and Hino are up 45.1 %.

 

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