The strength of the Japanese yen is causing concern in the country’s auto industry, with a leading executive from Nissan suggesting the sector may face a crisis.

Speaking at the launch of the company’s hybrid car Fuga, reported elsewhere on the site today, COO Toshiyuki Shiga said: “We’re way past the point of talking about how the yen’s rapid appreciation would damage our earnings, or that we’re worried about it. I feel a huge sense of crisis over the strong yen.”

Although the Japanese auto sector has hedged against the rising strength of the country’s currency, by moving production site overseas where possible, the prospect for Japan’s auto industry is a long term reduction in its competitive position.

The US dollar is around the Y80 mark at the moment, already much weaker than the Y90 most automakers had predicted for this financial year.