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May 11, 2022updated 12 May 2022 11:11am

Japanese vehicle market down 14% in April

Japan's vehicle market is still being hit by sales constraints caused by the global chips shortage.

By David Leggett

Japan’s vehicle market declined by over 14% to 299,620 units in April 2022 from 349,894 a year earlier, according to registration data released by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA).

Sales in the first four months of 2022 were down by almost 16% at 1,496,849 units from 1,429,743 units a year earlier, with passenger vehicle sales falling by 17% to 1,232,978 units – including a 20% drop in minicar sales to 428,270 units. Truck sales declined by just over 10% to 261,601 units, while sales of buses and coaches plunged by close to 27% to 2,270 units.

Toyota’s sales fell by over 17% to 464,202 units year-to-date; while Honda held on to second place with a sales decline of 7.8% to 211,799 units; Suzuki 198,820 units (-22.8%); Daihatsu 194,445 (-14.1%); Nissan 167,195 (-12.6%); and Mazda 61,821 (-14.1%). Sales of imported vehicles were also down in the first quarter, by 11.8% to 75,329 units.

Domestic vehicle output and sales continued to be held back by the global shortage of semiconductors in the first four months of the year, while covid restrictions also significantly impacted economic activity in the country in the first quarter. To help lift domestic consumption the government announced a US$48bn financial assistance package in late April, in addition to a record budget for the current financial year which started in April.

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