Japan’s new vehicle market continued to decline in February 2022, by 18% to 354,668 units from 432,298 a year earlier, according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

This followed a 14% decline in January and reflected mainly the continued global shortage of semiconductors, which forced automakers such as Toyota to suspend production at a number of plants throughout last month.

The country was also still struggling with high levels of Covid infections last month with significant social restrictions in place in many areas.

Vehicle sales in the first two months of the year were down by 16.2% at 684,367 units from 816,740 units a year earlier, with passenger vehicle sales down by 18.1% at 562,293 units, including a 22% drop in minicar sales to 195,638 units. Truck sales fell by 6.3% to 121,141 units, while sales of buses and coaches were down by almost 17% at 933 units.

Toyota sales fell by almost 20% to 204,440 units in the two month period while Honda moved into second place with just a slight decline to 100,873 units; Daihatsu 92,560 (-12.5%); Suzuki 92,065 units (-22.6%); Nissan 74,849 (-19.8%); and Mazda 31,415 (-6.2%).

Sales of imported vehicles were also down last month, by 8.6% to 33,033 units.

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By GlobalData