My global colleagues just prepared a brief analysis of the car market in Japan. While 2012 is certainly better than last year's struggle, the outlook for 2013 and beyond will be an uphill climb.
For you crystal-ball gazers, here are four automotive forecast views that Polk has about the Japanese auto market:
In 2011, Japan sold 3.5 million new cars and for comparison's sake, during the first half of 2012, new car sales rose by 57 percent compared to the first half of 2011.
For the full-year 2012, you should see 4.4 million new car sales.
The Japanese government is incentivizing consumers to buy "eco-cars" and has allocated JPY 300 billion ($3.8B USD) for this program (which is scheduled to end January 31, 2013). Unfortunately (in a good way), the program has been very successful and might end in August 2012 (funds will run out!) due to strong buying behavior. Yet this is likely to cause a 15 percent decline in sales during the last quarter of 2012. Short-term gains and a bit of a market "hangover."
- So what about new car sales in 2013? Seven percent lower than 2012, or 4.1 million.
Monthly New Japanese Car Registrations and Major Market Events
Companies like Honda appear to be doing well, but they aren't taking any sales trends or earnings for granted. Neither are any of the other OEMs there who rely on domestic sales.
Your thoughts about the light vehicle forecast and situation in Japan? What are you seeing abroad or domestically?
Posted by Lonnie Miller, Vice President, Marketing & Industry Analysis, Polk (08.06.2012)