Global production by Japan’s eight main automakers fell by 4.5% year-on-year to 2.12m vehicles in January 2021, which was blamed partly on the global shortage of semiconductors.

Toyota reported a 4% rise in output to 741,704 units last month, the fifth consecutive monthly rise as global demand continued to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company enjoyed strong sales rebounds in key markets in Asia, including Japan, China and India, while sales in the US were stable.

Nissan Motor’s global output rose 2.4% to 371,532 units, thanks mainly to strong sales in China, with demand particularly strong for its Sylphy sedan. 

Honda Motor reported an almost 9% decline to 351,676 vehicles with output falling in Japan and Europe. The automaker was hit harder than Toyota by the global chip shortage, according to a senior analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, due to its heavy reliance on overseas suppliers.

Similarly, Subaru reported a 29% plunge in global production to 63,603 units, due in large part to a lack of semiconductors.

Suzuki global production fell by over 11% to 265,285 units, with growth in Japan and India offset by weak demand in Indonesia and Europe, while Daihatsu output fell almost 9% to 110,432 units, reflecting falling sales in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Mazda global output fell by almost 12% to 111,209 units which was blamed on weak demand for its 3 compact car line.