Japan’s auto output down 3% in FY2014

Japanese automobile output fell by 3.2% year-on-year in the 2014 financial year ending March 31, the first fall after four consecutive annual increases.

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The country’s carmakers produced a total of 9.6 million units in the April 2014-March 2015 period, down from the 9.9 million units recorded in the 2013 fiscal year, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Assn (Jama) said on Tuesday April 28.

The fall was due to a contraction in local demand following the rise in Japan’s consumption tax in April last year.

Passenger cars were the only category to experience a decrease in output over the period, dropping 4.2% to 8.1 million units.

Output of trucks and buses, on the other hand, experienced respective rises of 2.3% and 2.5%, to 1.36 million and 138,520 units.

Domestic sales of passenger cars fell by 7.9% year-on-year to 4.45 million units, while trucks dropped 1.4% over the same period to 831,464 units. Shipments of buses, on the other hand, rose by 3.1% to 12,137, according to Jama’s figures.

General automobile exports were also lower in the 2014 financial year, down 3.1% to 4.49 million units.

In March alone, Japan’s automobile output fell by 6.5% year-on-year to 878,488 units, of which 740,236 units were passenger cars – down by 8.1%.

This was the ninth consecutive monthly drop in automobile output on a year-on-year basis.

Production of trucks moved 2.2% up to 125,902 units in March, however, while that of buses rose by 10.3% to 12,350 units.

March domestic sales fell for both passenger cars (by 11.9% to 586,796 units) and trucks (7.7%, to 106,065 units), but rose for buses (3.4%, to 2,550 units).

General exports rose by 2.8% in March, to 396,796 units, on the back of the weak Japanese yen.