Both Toyota and Honda want to cut back on the number of cars they export from Japan in a bid to counter the strength of the yen which can add up to USD1,200 to the cost of each car exported.

Toyota is reported to want to move production of all export-bound Corollas [Auris in Europe] to local markets. The company is estimated to have shipped more than 200,000 Corollas a year in recent years, including 70,000 to the US, Europe and Australia.

Media reports suggest that Toyota wants to be producing Corollas locally by 2014 and will consider other models to fill the gap at its Takaoka plant in Aichi Prefecture, which now assembles Corollas for export.

Similarly, Honda plans to shift all production of US-bound Fit (Jazz) compacts from Japan to Mexico in 2014. The company exported 67,000 last year with 40,000 going to the US.

Nonetheless, it is ending UK production of the Jazz from the model redesign in 2014 but has not yet said where European versions will come from – some of the previous generation came from the export-only joint venture plant in China.

Honda continues to reduce its exports from 54% of total production five years ago to around 30% last year, equivalent to 250,000 units. It has said it wants to reduce that to less than 200,000.