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Japan Automakers See Dramatic Boost in Vehicle Sales

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(Photo: Stock.xchng)
(Photo: Stock.xchng)


  • Automobile sales in Japan jumped 78% in March
  • Japan’s surge in vehicle sales attributed primarily to government subsidies for energy efficient vehicles
  • Honda sees increase in sales domestically and internationally

The Japan Automobile Dealers Association recently announced that new vehicle sales in Japan jumped 78% in March, in part due to local government subsidies for energy efficient cars.

According to the association, new auto sales reached nearly 500,000 vehicles last month, up over 200,000 vehicles from March 2011 when Japan was struck by a massive earthquake and tsunami, dramatically impacting vehicle production and sales.

As part of Japan’s automobile subsidy program, late last year the local government announced that it was extending tax breaks for low-polluting vehicles. Under the original plan, the program was due to end this month; however, government officials decided to extend it for another three years in order to help support the industry.

Japan also agreed to provide subsidies of up to $1,200 for purchases of fuel-efficient cars between the dates of Dec. 20, 2011 through Jan. 31, 2013.

Honda Hits New Sales Records

Also in the spotlight this quarter, Honda Motor Co. announced that its automobile production and subsequent domestic sales for the month of February 2012 experienced a year-on-year increase for the third consecutive month since December 2011.

Additionally, setting record numbers for the month of February, Honda’s production outside Japan experienced a year-on-year increase for the first time in five months. This includes all-time monthly high records for production in both North America and USA as well as record production in China for the month of February.

Mitsubishi, on the other hand, did see a slight decrease of just over 3% in total global production for February 2012, with its seventh consecutive monthly decrease since July 2011.

However, the company reported sales in Japan this last February being up nearly 6% on the same month last year, and exceeded the figure for the previous year for the second consecutive month since December 2011.

Key Statistics - Global Automotive Manufacturing (source: MarktetLine)

  • In 2010, revenue in the global automotive manufacturing industry reached over $1 billion, with a compound annual rate of change (CARC) of less than 0.3% from 2006 and 2010.
  • For the years 2010–2015, performance in the global automotive industry is expected to accelerate with an anticipated CAGR of close to 7%. This is reported to drive the value of the industry to nearly $1.7 billion by the end of 2015.
  • Upon selling over 126,000 vehicles in 2010, overall production volumes in the automotive industry increased with a CAGR of 3% between 2006 and 2010.

By Laurie Juliano-Bachara for
Laurie Juliano-Bachara is a Chicago-based writer who covers the latest topics in professional services, entertainment and business news.

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