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Posts Tagged ‘Japanese auto production’

November Car Sales Could Be Best Since Mid-’09

Market keeps gaining momentum.

by on Nov.29, 2011

Increased availability of Japanese products, like this 2012 Toyota Camry, appear to have helped build November sales momentum.

The U.S. economy looks like it got a lift in November from new vehicle sales – which continue gaining momentum despite earlier concerns that the automotive market would cool down after a hot October.

Sales of new cars in November have climbed to a level last seen more than two years ago when the government’s “Cash for Clunkers” was in full swing, according to analysts who follow sales trends. Full results for the month are due December 1.

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“We’ve seen six straight months of year-over-year gains for new vehicle sales, which shows positive momentum for the auto industry,” said Jesse Toprak, vice president of Industry Trends and Insights for the automotive website TrueCar.com.

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Toyota’s U.S. Plants Down for a Week

Production of new Honda Civic won’t recover until “sometime” in autumn.

by on May.27, 2011

The 2012 Honda Civic will remain in short supply until at least the coming autumn.

Toyota’s entire U.S. production network will be sitting idle next week, the maker deciding to stretch out the normal Memorial Day holiday break because of ongoing shortages of Japanese-made parts.

Honda, meanwhile, says that while its global factory network appears to be recovering faster than it first anticipated it will be facing more problems getting production up to speed for the new 2012 Civic model, which is likely not to reach normal volumes until “sometime” in autumn.

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A new report underscores the magnitude of the crisis touched off by Japan’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami.  In Japan, Toyota production was off by 74.5% for all of April, while its global production declined 48%.

The disaster had only marginal impact on automotive assembly plants but 100s of supplier facilities were damaged or destroyed.  Others have been struggling under the rolling blackouts implemented after the quake touched off a triple meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

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Toyota Delaying Launch of Prius V, Preparing to Shut Some U.S. Plants

Parts shortages worsen in wake of quake, tsunami, nuclear disaster.

by on Mar.24, 2011

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda with the Prius V hybrid during the Detroit Auto Show preview of the microvan.

Still struggling to get its Japanese plants up-and-running, Toyota has now delayed the planned April launch of its all-new Prius V.  The maker has also warned workers it may soon be forced to temporarily idle some of its North American assembly lines.

The hybrid microvan was to begin the roll-out of an all-new brand-within-a-brand sharing the familiar Prius badge that currently graces the world’s most popular hybrid-electric vehicle.  At last January’s Detroit Auto Show, Toyota revealed several models that will also be badged Prius, including both the V, a smaller Prius C, and a plug-in hybrid based on the current Prius sedan.

But the home market roll-out of the Prius V is being delayed indefinitely as a result of the worsening shortage of Japanese-made parts.  Toyota plants in Japan have been out of operation since March 11, when the island nation was slammed by a devastating 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

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The natural disaster damaged or destroyed a number of component plants and disrupted roads and rail supply lines.  Complicating matters, the crisis Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant has created an energy shortage that has made it difficult to operate even those factories not directly impacted by the quake and tsunami.

Toyota officials continue to delay the restart of their Japanese plants and have meanwhile trimmed back production at their “transplant” North American assembly lines.  The maker is now advising workers here that some plants may need to be completely idled until the flow of Japanese parts can be resumed — or alternative sources found.

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Would You Wait for a Japanese Car?

Toyota, other makers could be hurt if production delays lead to product shortages.

by on Mar.16, 2011

Honda buyers are among the most likely to wait out a product shortage, says CNW research.

How much do you really want that new sedan?  Would you sit tight for that sports car?  Will you wait several months for that big SUV?

Japan’s continuing crisis has already resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of new cars, trucks and crossovers, whether damaged by Friday’s massive earthquake, the subsequent tsunami, or simply through lost production, most Japanese automakers unsure when they’ll be able to get their assembly operations back up-and-running.

Even in the U.S., the natural disaster’s effects are being felt, Subaru halting production at its Indiana plant, while Toyota cuts all overtime.  And, now, even some Detroit makers could feel the pinch if shortages of Japanese-made parts begin to develop. (Find out more…Click Here.)

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“The impact of this has yet to unfold,” Mark Reuss, president of General Motors’ North American operations cautioned today, stressing that the quake’s impact on the Japanese supplier network could be “bigger than anyone knows today.”

One test will come if consumers begin to experience product shortages at the dealer level.  American buyers have traditionally preferred to buy whatever they can find on a dealer lot, rather than placing a custom order that might take weeks, even months, to come through.

So, will buyers who can’t find what they want go somewhere else?

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Japanese Car Production Up for First Time in 3 Years – But Not For Long

But Nissan, others shifting production to the U.S.

by on Feb.01, 2011

Nissan will shift Rogue production to the U.S.

Japanese car production rose 21.3% last year, the first increase in three years – though the trend is almost certainly downward, as makers like Nissan prepare to shift more manufacturing out of the home market.

Passenger car output jumped to 8.3 million in 2010, the first upturn since 2007, while truck production rose 22.8%, to 1.2 million, the first move upward in seven years, according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

The increases reflected a rise in motor vehicle exports, which jumped 33.8%.  That was the first positive move in two years, JAMA announced.

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The increases all came as good news for a Japanese economy that has struggled through more than a decade of stagnation.  But there are strong indications things won’t last.  On the local front, the Japanese government has wrapped up its green car incentive program, which helped spur strong demand for models like the Toyota Prius – the top-selling automobile in Japan in 2010 – and the Honda Insight.

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Honda and Toyota Production Slumps Continue

On the eve of national elections where the government is predicted to fall, more bad news for the export based economy.

by on Aug.28, 2009

Local production ceremony of the CR-V sport utility vehicle in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

Local production ceremony of the CR-V sport utility vehicle in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. said this morning in Tokyo that that its worldwide production outside of Japan showed a year-on-year decrease for the ninth consecutive month, going all the way back to November 2008.

Worldwide production for the first six months of 2009 experienced a year-on-year decrease for the first time in 11 years.

Exports from Japan in July 2009 also experienced a year-on-year decrease for the tenth consecutive month.

Year-to-date production is off -32% in total as Japan’s second largest automaker continues to adjust to the ongoing Great Recession.

Honda Worldwide Production

 

July 2009

Year-to-Date Total

(Jan. – July 2009)

Units

vs.’08

Units

vs.’08

 Japan

79,316

-29.3%

455,679

-35.9%

Outside Japan

179,656

-21.9%

1,120,605

-30.8%

Total

258,972

-24.3%

1,576,284

-32.3%

Toyota, Japan’s largest automaker is also continuing to reduce output to adjust its excess inventories as a result of decreased worldwide demand. Toyota production was down for the twelfth straight month. It also announced that it will permanently close its giant NUMMI plant in California next March in its largest U.S. market, and has done what was once unthinkable, shutting down an assembly line at a Japanese factory.

Toyota’s exports are off -57%, and its worldwide production declined -40% year-to-date. In Japan production was down -47%. All told, Toyota production at 3,613,369 vehicles is off -38% as it struggles to turn around the sales of its vehicles in the depressed market.

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