Japan’s auto production decreased to 6.5mn units in Jan-Oct, down by 19.9pc from the prior year amid reduced domestic demand and export sales, according to the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA). Hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry recorded a sharp drop in auto demand in the first half of 2020 (April to September), but demand has been recovering since October. JAMA has given a positive outlook for the second half.
In the first ten months of 2020, auto exports from Japan lowered to 2.97mn units, down by 25.7pc from the year prior. Domestic sales dropped by 14.7pc to 3.8mn units from the prior year.
In November, exports of vehicles dropped by 4.4pc from the prior year to 394,890 units. Domestic sales in November increased by 6.7pc from the prior year to 411,601 units after a surge of 29.2pc in October. Exports of vehicles in October had rebounded by 2.2pc from October 2019. The association forecasts that production in November is likely to rise driven by increasing demand domestically.
In November, total auto production of Toyota Motors increased for the third consecutive month owing to strong Japanese and Chinese demand. Production was up approximately 7pc from the prior year to 828,066 units. In the second half of the fiscal, leading steelmaker Nippon Steel forecasts auto demand in Japan to rise by 33pc to 5.4mn units from the first half.
Earlier, the Japanese government announced its intent to make the country carbon neutral by 2050 and all new vehicles sold in Japan by mid-2030 to be either hybrid, electric or fuel-cell cars. JAMA foresees a remarkable shift in auto production given the fact that EVs and hybrid vehicles comprise only 29pc of the country’s new motor vehicle registrations.