Jama predicts almost 10% drop in Japan’s auto sales in 2015

Japan is expected to record a decrease of 9.4% in vehicle demand this year, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Assn (Jama) said.

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Domestic automobile sales are forecast to reach 5.04 million units in 2015, down from the 5.56 million units registered last year, it said late on Friday March 20.

In January this year, auto sales posted a year-on-year fall of 19.1% to 401,366 units, with vehicle production suffering a seventh consecutive month of drops as Japanese carmakers struggled with a contraction in local demand following the rise in the country’s consumption tax in April last year.

Jama is expecting passenger car sales to drop 9.2% this year to 4.26 million units.

Sales of trucks are forecast to move down by 10.1% to 765,000 units, while those of buses are expected to collapse 15.7% to 10,100 units.

According to figures from the Japan Iron & Steel Federation (JISF), automobiles accounted for roughly 45% of the total steel demand in Japan’s manufacturing industry in the nine months between April and December 2014.

Toyota, the world’s largest carmaker, is expecting a 9% drop in its domestic sales in Japan this year.