Auto output in Japan rises 9.2% on year
The nation’s automobile output rose 9.2 percent in August from a year earlier to 621,349 vehicles, data released by eight major carmakers showed Wednesday. The figures suggest recovery after disruptions resulting from devastating earthquakes this spring in Kyushu.
Domestic production at Japan’s top three automakers — Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. — increased last month, but output dropped again at Mitsubishi Motors Corp. on weak sales in the wake of a fuel economy data manipulation scandal.
Output leader Toyota said it produced 240,355 vehicles in Japan in August, up 12.1 percent. Its domestic factories were running for two days longer in the month than a year earlier.
Domestic output also rose at Nissan, the country’s second-largest automaker by volume, by 19.5 percent to 62,621 vehicles, and at Honda by 13.8 percent to 52,215 vehicles.
Japan’s auto industry was hit by disruption to supply chains in April when quakes rattled parts of Kyushu and damaged infrastructure.
Mitsubishi Motors said domestic output fell 16.3 percent to 31,470 vehicles, down for the fifth straight month, reflecting fallout from its fuel economy scandal.
As for domestic sales at other automakers, Toyota reported a 15.6 percent rise to 113,922 vehicles on the back of robust sales of minivehicles, a class characterized by an engine no larger than 660 cubic centimeters.
Domestic sales at Nissan, which plans to put Mitsubishi Motors under its wing by taking a 34 percent stake, dropped 7.7 percent to 33,868, while Honda’s sales dived 9.1 percent to 42,814.
At Mitsubishi Motors, Japan’s sixth-biggest automaker by volume, sales in its home market plunge 19.9 percent to 5,000 vehicles.
Exports by the eight automakers — which include Mazda Motor Corp., Suzuki Motor Corp., Daihatsu Motor Co. and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. — totaled 307,483 vehicles, up 3.2 percent, while their total production overseas rose 10.6 percent to 1,567,363 vehicles.
Cover photo: blogs.wsj.com