Japan’s Car Sales Slump in April

Registrations for sales of new passenger cars, trucks and buses fell 29 percent in April, compared to a year earlier, according to data released on May 18 by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

Registrations for all vehicle types – not including motorcycles – dropped to 270,393 in April, down from 378,687 in the year-earlier period.

Passenger car sales dropped to 219,232 for April, down 30 percent. Total truck sales in April were down 20 percent at 50,388. Total bus sales were down 22 percent at 773.

New registrations for motorcycles in Japan dropped 11 percent to 25,569.

IHS Markit stated in an April 30 news release that for many European original equipment manufacturers in China, the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe may create shortages of key components and bottlenecks in China production. The company noted that Japanese OEMs also face similar risks in China because facilities for semiconductors and other components have been shut down in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations region in recent weeks.

In Japan, lost volume related to the Covid-19 outbreak will reach more than 400,000 units by the end of June, the company forecasted, as the country’s government announced extended lockdowns in various ports of Japan. Full-year 2020 production is now expected to decline to 7.3 million units, down 20 percent.

Photo: wothan/Adobe Stock

A view of a mostly empty Kanni-dori Avenue in the Toyosu area of Tokyo, Japan.