Japanese OEMs surpass global production record for third consecutive year

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

2015/05/18

Summary

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
2013-2014
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)

Related Reports:
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)



2014 overseas production volumes increase in North and Latin America

 Twelve Japanese OEMs built 17.48 million units outside Japan in 2014, which was a 4.3% y/y increase. By region, 9.11 million units were built in Asia, which accounted for 50% of the units built outside Japan. However, the y/y increase in production volume in Asia was a miniscule 0.6%. The regions posting higher y/y production increases were Europe, where the market is improving (1.65 million units/7.6% increase); North America, especially production for the strong U.S. market (4.79 units/5.4% increase); and Central/South America (which includes Mexico) that posted a tremendous 23.9% increase.

 In terms of 2014 global unit production, which includes units built in Japan, out of every three units built by Japanese OEMs worldwide, it can be said that one unit was built in Japan, one unit was built in Asia, and one unit was built in a region other than Japan and Asia. North America and Central/South America, in which Mexico is included, is the largest vehicle-production region, following Japan and Asia.

Japanese 12 OEMs' overseas production by region (by JAMA for Japanese brand vehicles)

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 YoY
2013-2014
Asia 4,877,074 5,145,418 7,114,097 7,545,889 8,500,825 9,055,757 9,112,629 100.6%
Middle East 0 0 0 0 0 0 596 -
Europe 1,876,109 1,228,294 1,356,126 1,410,628 1,484,110 1,537,025 1,654,217 107.6%
(EU) 1,693,151 1,136,145 1,250,226 1,302,277 1,383,583 1,379,733 1,382,061 100.2%
North America 3,576,246 2,687,527 3,402,948 3,068,978 4,253,869 4,540,685 4,785,769 105.4%
(U.S.) 2,893,466 2,108,161 2,666,084 2,422,151 3,324,703 3,627,226 3,813,351 105.1%
Central/South America 920,738 790,794 982,342 1,029,511 1,234,584 1,284,243 1,591,042 123.9%
Africa 257,646 168,651 206,476 233,709 248,711 232,191 241,841 104.2%
Oceania 143,741 96,836 119,473 93,675 101,381 106,278 90,125 84.8%
Total 11,651,554 10,117,520 13,181,462 13,382,390 15,823,480 16,756,179 17,476,219 104.3%

Source: JAMA

 

Regional Composition

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Japan 49.8% 44.0% 42.2% 38.6% 38.6% 36.5% 35.9%
Asia 21.0% 28.5% 31.2% 34.6% 33.0% 34.3% 33.4%
Europe 8.1% 6.8% 5.9% 6.5% 5.8% 5.8% 6.1%
(EU) 7.3% 6.3% 5.5% 6.0% 5.4% 5.2% 5.1%
North America 15.4% 14.9% 14.9% 14.1% 16.5% 17.2% 17.6%
(U.S.) 12.5% 11.7% 11.7% 11.1% 12.9% 13.7% 14.0%
Central/South America 4.0% 4.4% 4.3% 4.7% 4.8% 4.9% 5.8%
Africa 1.1% 0.9% 0.9% 1.1% 1.0% 0.9% 0.9%
Oceania 0.6% 0.5% 0.5% 0.4% 0.4% 0.4% 0.3%
Overseas total 50.2% 56.0% 57.8% 61.4% 61.4% 63.5% 64.1%
Global total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

Source: JAMA

 

 



Japan's production of non-mini vehicles decrease while mini-vehicles increase

 2014 production in Japan by the 12 Japanese OEMs totaled 9.77 million units, a slight 1.5% y/y increase. This was the sixth consecutive year (starting from 2009) in which production in Japan was below 10 million.

 The 2014 production in Japan shows that 7.48 million non-mini vehicle units were built and 2.29 mini vehicles were built. While production of non-mini vehicles fell for the second consecutive year, production of mini vehicles increased for the third consecutive year. This trend has been continuing over the mid-term. The production of non-mini vehicles in 2014 was 2.22 million units fewer (a 22.9% decrease) than the actual number built in 2008, while production volume of mini vehicles in 2014 was 420,000 more than the actual number built in 2008 (a 22.6% increase). (While 2014 non-mini car sales in Japan remained almost flat at a miniscule 0.8% y/y increase, mini car sales increased 7.6% y/y. The percentage of mini cars to total sales grew from 39.3% in 2013 to 40.9% in 2014.)

 Three OEMs reported y/y production decreases in Japan in 2014: Toyota (2.7% decrease/ 90,000 fewer units), Nissan (8.7% decrease/ 84,000 fewer units), and Mazda Motor Corporation (3.3% decrease/ 32,000 fewer units). However, outside of Japan, these three OEMs increased their production levels, with Toyota building 200,000 units more, Nissan building 230,000 units more, and Mazda building 97,000 units more. (Mazda built 102,000 units at its new plant in Mexico.)

Japanese 12 OEMs' production in Japan

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 YoY
2013-2014
Toyota 4,012,388 2,792,274 3,282,855 2,760,028 3,492,913 3,356,899 3,266,805 97.3%
Nissan 1,293,082 894,575 1,133,667 1,112,995 1,148,265 964,546 880,887 91.3%
Honda 1,264,381 840,924 992,502 710,621 1,029,313 840,650 958,179 114.0%
Suzuki 1,218,235 908,302 1,078,242 949,799 1,061,863 975,320 1,059,329 108.6%
Mazda 1,078,690 717,175 912,836 813,302 845,550 966,628 934,300 96.7%
Mitsubishi 853,943 426,530 660,105 603,594 517,088 591,893 640,890 108.3%
Daihatsu 793,257 684,255 665,177 609,657 774,406 774,949 782,195 100.9%
Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru) 524,916 408,399 491,932 418,545 568,537 639,756 695,790 108.8%
8 OEM total 11,038,892 7,672,434 9,217,316 7,978,541 9,437,935 9,110,641 9,218,375 101.2%
Isuzu 253,913 120,110 203,716 201,701 241,247 244,162 267,872 109.7%
Hino 106,216 66,670 99,311 113,788 152,839 158,804 162,492 102.3%
Mitsubishi Fuso 126,184 54,467 76,593 79,154 87,086 96,790 103,233 106.7%
UD Trucks 47,960 19,831 30,471 23,336 21,855 18,405 21,543 117.0%
12 OEM total 11,573,165 7,933,512 9,627,407 8,396,520 9,940,962 9,628,802 9,773,515 101.5%

Source: JAMA

 

Production of non-mini vehicles and mini vehicles in Japan

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 YoY
2013-2014
Non-mini 9,702,050 6,277,943 7,872,799 6,890,485 7,918,321 7,518,722 7,480,040 99.5%
Mini 1,871,115 1,655,569 1,754,608 1,506,035 2,022,641 2,110,080 2,293,475 108.7%
Total 11,573,165 7,933,512 9,627,407 8,396,520 9,940,962 9,628,802 9,773,515 101.5%

Source: JAMA

 

 



2014 exports decrease 4.5% to 4.47 million units, in spite of weak yen

Exports by region by 12 OEMs In spite of the yen's prolonged decline against U.S. dollars, the number of units exported from Japan by the 12 Japanese OEMs decreased y/y, from 4.67 million units in 2013 to 4.47 million in 2014. For the entire year, 209,000 fewer units were exported y/y, resulting in a 4.5% y/y decrease. The year 2014 became the second consecutive year in which exports decreased. When compared to the peak year of 2008, when 6.73 million units were exported, 2.26 million fewer units were exported in 2014.

 Among 8 OEMs which produce passenger cars, three companies reported y/y increases in exports, and they are Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru), Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, and Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd., while another five reported decreases. One in particular is Honda, which has built a solid production framework worldwide. Honda launched commercial operations in spring 2014 at a new plant in Mexico. It exported 210,000 units in 2012, 130,000 in 2013, and only 30,000 units in 2014.

 North America, while still the largest export market for the 12 OEMs in 2014 and to where they exported 1.66 million units during the year, saw a significant drop in exports y/y, by 225,000 units. In 2014 Nissan produced 155,000 more vehicles in the U.S. and 125,000 more vehicles in Mexico than the results in 2013. Honda and Mazda also launched production from spring 2014 at new plants in Mexico, for which the U.S. is a major market.


Export volume by Japanese OEM

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 YoY
2013-2014
Toyota 2,586,338 1,444,758 1,745,038 1,568,941 1,945,688 1,899,648 1,789,337 94.2%
Nissan 776,738 458,074 670,957 716,390 674,580 542,415 472,638 87.1%
Honda 650,308 250,268 305,412 235,087 214,561 125,478 31,251 24.9%
Suzuki 393,101 196,438 279,517 249,014 196,030 159,251 147,933 92.9%
Mazda 881,518 559,826 729,939 650,577 671,790 787,651 761,185 96.6%
Mitsubishi 604,841 232,224 448,856 438,033 368,648 343,251 370,710 108.0%
Daihatsu 129,759 46,645 40,048 21,709 9,752 7,789 7,855 100.8%
Fuji Heavy 326,492 254,549 328,389 298,328 379,356 471,072 541,586 115.0%
8 OEM total 6,349,095 3,442,782 4,548,156 4,178,079 4,460,405 4,336,555 4,122,495 95.1%
Isuzu 194,233 85,064 156,967 151,884 175,598 174,659 183,433 105.0%
Hino 67,016 44,301 70,197 73,525 98,212 96,478 91,170 94.5%
Mitsubishi Fuso 89,963 35,626 50,363 47,162 56,634 58,001 58,823 101.4%
UD Trucks 26,784 8,395 15,777 13,763 12,742 8,940 9,714 108.7%
12 OEM total 6,727,091 3,616,168 4,841,460 4,464,413 4,803,591 4,674,633 4,465,635 95.5%

Source: JAMA

 

Japanese OEMs' exports by region (12 OEM total)

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 YoY
2013-2014
Asia 525,081 378,840 576,440 572,417 572,976 540,154 560,304 103.7%
Middle East 952,749 428,042 583,684 419,715 525,954 584,062 625,708 107.1%
Europe 1,589,054 685,026 936,496 995,313 848,688 709,139 744,138 104.9%
(EU) 812,163 542,215 568,508 521,804 401,286 371,305 452,322 121.8%
North America 2,318,254 1,379,150 1,727,305 1,585,327 1,886,386 1,887,155 1,662,160 88.1%
(U.S.) 2,068,062 1,202,732 1,531,026 1,426,833 1,698,152 1,719,793 1,537,676 89.4%
Central/South America 517,900 244,196 396,499 358,375 346,860 362,011 305,776 84.5%
Africa 351,762 145,131 188,644 148,599 168,306 179,364 184,201 102.7%
Oceania 460,561 347,394 425,206 379,747 448,969 407,294 375,683 92.2%
Total 6,727,091 3,616,168 4,841,460 4,464,413 4,803,591 4,674,633 4,465,635 95.5%

Source: JAMA
Note: "Total" includes export to other regions.

 

 



OEMs transferring some production back to Japan

8 OEMs' Export Ratio to Domestic Production When the valuation of the yen was high, Japanese OEMs increased their local production volumes outside Japan, in order to minimize the negative impact that the high yen was having on their business performance. As a result, the ratio that exports accounted for, from among total 2014 production volume in Japan, was to 44.7%, which is a decrease from the 57.5% that exports accounted for in 2008.

 However, due to the current weak yen, the cost advantages of building vehicles in Japan has improved, so that OEMs are now planning to transfer some of their overseas production back to Japan and maintain their Japanese domestic production levels. While the OEMs haven't abandoned their policy of "building vehicles either locally or close by where they are sold," they are adjusting their regions of production according to demand and currency fluctuations. However, the OEMs are claiming that their objective is to improve productivity at their plants in Japan rather than boosting their production capacities.


Three OEMs' plans for returning some overseas production to Japan

Toyota  Toyota discontinued exporting its Camry to North America from 2011. However, it now plans to discontinue outsourcing production of the Camry to Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) at the end of 2016 and cease building the Camry in Australia at the end of 2017. Based on this decision, the company plans to start building its redesigned Camry, which will launch in 2017, at its Tsutsumi Plant and export the vehicle to North America, etc.
 Toyota plans to build 10% of the Lexus RX models designed for sale in North America, and which it currently builds in Canada, at its Miyata Plant in Kyushu from the fall of 2015. This amounts to 10,000 units annually.
Nissan  Nissan transferred production of the U.S. version of the Rogue, which it had been building at its Kyushu Plant, to its Smyrna Plant in the U.S. from October 2013. In addition, it started building the Murano at its Canton Plant from November 2014. (Total annual production of both models is 200,000.) The company built 166,000 units of the Rogue at the Smyrna Plant. However, Nissan now is planning to re-launch some of the production of the U.S. version of the Rogue at its Kyushu Plant, in the range of 100,000 units a year.
 Nissan's 2014 unit production in Japan decreased to 880,000. It now plans to maintain its level of production at around 1 million units annually. It is predicting that 2015 production will increase slightly, and that 2017 unit production will be around 1.1 million.
Honda  Honda, following the production launch of the Fit at its plant in Mexico, started building its second model at the plant, the HR-V (known as the Vezel in Japan). Honda now plans to transfer some production of the U.S. version Fit to its Yorii Plant in Saitama, in the range of 30,000 units annually. Its plan is to begin building and exporting them from the second half of 2015. In addition, it also plans to build the European version Jazz at the Yorii Plant, in the range of 20,000 units a year, for export.
 Honda plans to transfer production of the U.S. version Accord Hybrid to its Sayama Plant. In 2014, the company built 14,000 units of the U.S. version Accord in the U.S.A. Honda is planning to increase the percentage of units it builds in and exports from Japan, which had dropped to just 3% in 2014, to between 10 and 20%.

Sources: article from the May 3, 2015 Nikkei Shimbun; and articles from the April 11, April 30, and May 1, 2015 Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun

 

Reference: Japanese OEMs' production by region

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Toyota North America 1,404,800 1,189,100 1,404,000 1,206,100 1,720,600 n.a. n.a.
Central/South America 194,800 181,500 204,300 195,100 242,800
Europe 688,300 507,300 461,700 460,300 461,400
Africa 179,200 102,800 123,400 150,800 151,700
Asia 1,590,000 1,501,400 2,027,400 2,062,800 2,565,700
Oceania 141,400 96,800 119,400 93,700 101,400
Overseas production 4,198,400 3,579,000 4,340,400 4,168,800 5,243,600 5,535,196 5,738,020
Japanese production 4,012,100 2,792,200 3,282,800 2,760,000 3,492,900 3,356,899 3,266,805
Total 8,210,500 6,371,300 7,623,300 6,928,800 8,736,500 8,892,095 9,004,825
Nissan U.S. 545,057 372,906 511,498 562,754 644,695 792,135 947,558
Mexico 450,968 355,414 506,490 607,087 683,661 680,278 805,967
UK 386,555 338,150 423,262 480,487 510,572 501,745 500,238
Spain 157,237 52,577 104,864 154,752 143,165 131,862 141,102
China 378,977 547,236 1,012,458 1,237,468 1,161,168 1,247,249 1,175,575
Other 182,954 183,704 361,462 476,832 597,892 633,109 646,445
Overseas production 2,101,748 1,849,987 2,920,034 3,519,380 3,741,153 3,986,378 4,216,885
Japanese production 1,293,082 894,575 1,133,667 1,112,995 1,148,265 964,546 880,887
Total 3,394,830 2,744,562 4,053,701 4,632,375 4,889,418 4,950,924 5,097,772
Honda North America 1,421,427 1,030,958 1,287,775 1,103,127 1,691,088 1,781,213 1,807,124
(U.S.) 987,169 723,375 954,502 823,650 1,219,326 1,309,917 1,268,904
Europe 230,423 75,583 139,264 97,459 165,606 140,094 119,995
Asia 858,537 911,728 1,069,046 902,115 1,058,614 1,374,181 1,482,574
(China) 517,571 601,920 676,515 646,208 617,399 788,161 856,073
Other 182,607 153,444 154,470 95,694 166,236 162,252 145,897
Overseas production 2,692,994 2,171,713 2,650,555 2,198,395 3,081,544 3,457,740 3,555,590
Japanese production 1,264,387 840,924 992,502 710,621 1,029,313 840,650 958,179
Total 3,957,381 3,012,637 3,643,057 2,909,016 4,110,857 4,298,390 4,513,769
Suzuki Europe 285,000 180,000 170,000 172,000 n.a. n.a. n.a.
North America 13,000 0 0 0
Asia 1,109,000 1,299,000 1,644,000 1,605,000
Overseas production 1,405,553 1,479,231 1,814,703 1,776,100 1,831,739 1,870,865 1,957,381
Japanese production 1,218,235 908,302 1,078,242 949,799 1,061,863 975,320 1,059,329
Total 2,623,788 2,387,533 2,892,945 2,725,899 2,893,602 2,846,185 3,016,710
Mazda Overseas production 270,584 266,692 394,704 352,289 343,733 297,545 394,126
Japanese production 1,078,690 717,175 912,836 813,302 845,550 966,628 934,300
Total 1,349,274 983,867 1,307,540 1,165,591 1,189,283 1,264,173 1,328,426
Mitsubishi Asia 300,699 272,170 415,388 435,797 496,823 535,349 514,638
North America 58,963 18,483 29,362 37,145 36,974 67,344 69,173
Europe 53,661 43,155 26,928 23,808 19,516 44,855 37,641
Other 46,101 34,343 41,003 39,988 41,250
Overseas production 459,424 368,151 512,681 536,738 594,563 647,548 621,452
Japanese production 853,943 426,530 660,104 603,594 515,168 591,893 640,890
Total 1,313,367 794,681 1,172,785 1,140,332 1,109,731 1,239,441 1,262,342
Daihatsu Overseas production 114,945 111,467 158,368 192,021 223,049 271,060 316,076
Japanese production 793,257 684,255 665,177 609,657 774,406 774,949 782,195
Total 908,202 795,722 823,545 801,678 997,455 1,046,009 1,098,271
Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru) Overseas production 91,581 82,953 158,022 161,716 184,783 169,163 193,022
Japanese production 524,916 408,399 491,932 418,545 568,537 639,756 695,790
Total 616,497 491,352 649,954 580,261 753,320 808,919 888,812
8 OEM total Overseas production 11,335,229 9,909,194 12,949,467 12,905,439 15,244,164 16,235,495 16,992,552
Japanese production 11,038,610 7,672,360 9,217,260 7,978,513 9,436,002 9,110,641 9,218,375
Total 22,373,839 17,581,554 22,166,727 20,883,952 24,680,166 25,346,136 26,210,927

Source: Japanese OEMs' press releases

<Automotive Industry Portal MarkLines>