Japanese OEMs surpass global production record for third consecutive year

Year-to-year overseas production numbers increase while exports drop



Japanese OEMs set a new global production record for the third consecutive year and an overseas production record for the fifth consecutive year

 Total global unit production volume by twelve Japanese OEMs in 2014 set a new record for the third year in a row, growing to 27.25 million units, posting a 3.3% year-over-year (y/y) increase. Overseas production volume by the Japanese OEMs broke all previous records, for the fifth year in a row, growing to 17.48 million units, which was a 4.3% y/y increase. The percentage of units built outside Japan to the OEMs' global production grew from 50.2% in 2008 to 64.1% in 2014. By region, the number of units produced in Asia in 2014 was 9.11 million (a mere 0.6% increase y/y), accounting for roughly 50% of all the units built outside Japan; the total number built in North America was 4.79 million units (a 5.4% y/y increase); and production volume in Central/South America (which includes Mexico) was 1.59 million units, resulting in a significant y/y increase of 23.9%.

Unit production volume in Japan grew 1.5% y/y, while exports fell 4.5% y/y

 In 2014, the number of units built in Japan was 9.77 million. Even though this total surpassed the 9.63 million units in 2013 (which saw a 3.1% y/y decrease), it was nonetheless only a slight increase of 1.5%. Unit sales in Japan in full-year 2014 increased 3.5% y/y. Even though January-March 2014 sales rose tremendously, growing 20.7% y/y due to last minute demand before the consumption tax was increased in April, sales for the rest of the year (April-December) actually decreased 3.4% y/y.

 Exports in 2014 totaled 4.47 million units, which was a 4.5% decrease y/y due to expansion of OEMs' production outside Japan, in spite of the uninterrupted weak yen. This was the second consecutive year in which exports fell.

Some production to be transferred back to Japan, with efforts being made to increase exports

 Japanese OEMs have continued to expand their production volumes outside Japan as a means to minimize the negative impact of the strong yen. As a result, exports from Japan have been falling, and production volumes in Japan over the mid-term have not been increasing either. Now, however, the OEMs are placing importance on maintaining a certain level of production in Japan. Due to the uninterrupted weak yen, the OEMs are making plans to slightly increase their production volumes in Japan as well as export more vehicles

 The next-generation Camry, which will be exported to North America, will be built by Toyota Motor Corporation at its Tsutsumi Plant. Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. has plans to return some of the production of the Rogue, which it transferred to the U.S. in 2013, back to Japan. Beginning in the second half of 2015, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. plans to start migrating some of the production of the U.S. version Fit, from its plant in Mexico to its Yorii Plant.

Production, Sales and Exports Regional Composition

8 OEMs' overseas and domestic production

Production, sales in Japan and export from Japan by 12 Japanese OEMs

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 YoY
Japanese production 11,573,165 7,933,512 9,627,407 8,396,520 9,940,962 9,628,802 9,773,515 101.5%
Overseas production 11,651,554 10,117,520 13,181,462 13,382,390 15,823,480 16,756,179 17,476,219 104.3%
Global production 23,224,719 18,051,032 22,808,869 21,778,910 25,764,442 26,384,981 27,249,734 103.3%
Sales in Japan 5,082,235 4,609,256 4,956,136 4,210,219 5,369,720 5,375,513 5,562,888 103.5%
Exports from Japan 6,727,091 3,616,168 4,841,460 4,464,413 4,803,591 4,674,633 4,465,635 95.5%

Source: Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA)

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2015 Japanese Market (Part 1): Outlook and vehicle tax revision (Feb. 2015)
2015 Japanese Market (Part 2): Suzuki and Honda expand market share (Feb. 2015)

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