Car makers suffer huge decline in production
25 February 2009

Japan's car exports have fallen by nearly 70 per cent since last year, according to figures released today, and all of the country's large manufacturers have slashed their global outputs.

Nissan suffered the biggest drop of Japan's three largest brands; its exports fell 62.1 per cent in January compared with the same month in 2008.

Toyota, Japan’s largest car manufacturer, suffered a 56.2 per cent drop in exports, and its global production was down by 39.1 per cent year on year, the largest fall on record.

Honda exports dropped by 46.3 per cent in January compared with 2008, but that is well below the Japanese car industry’s average fall of 69 per cent.

Other smaller Japanese brands have slashed their output in the wake of the global recession. Mitsubishi produced 53,339 cars in January, down 53.9 per cent on the same period last year, while Mazda's output dropped by 62.4 per cent, to 45,548 units.

Despite the strong yen affecting global outputs, Toyota is still the world’s largest car manufacturer after overtaking General Motors last month.

Falling sales and the rising currencies has made trading increasingly difficult for Japanese companies; exports for the country industries fell by 46 per cent in January, compared with the same month in 2008.

George Barrow

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