Japan domestic auto sales up by 26.1% in 2012

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Tokyo, Japan (4E) – Local sales of Japanese carmakers increased by more than a quarter in 2012 as the industry bounces back from a slowdown in 2011 as a result of the earthquake and tsunami.

Figures show that there is a 26.1 per cent jump in number of vehicles sold in Japan in 2012 compared to the previous year. The Japan Automobile Dealers Association said on Monday that annual sales of cars, trucks and buses stood at 3,390,274 units in 2012.

The number of mini-vehicles sold also rose by 30.1 per cent last year to 1.98 million units. Sales of eco-friendly cars also rose boosted by state subsidies.

Domestic auto sales in December, however, dropped by 3.4 per cent to 214,429 units as government subsidies to support sales of environment friendly cars expired.

The association also said that December’s weaker data also represented the fourth straight month of decrease.

Sales in China by Japan’s three biggest carmakers also fell last year. Toyota announced that sales slid by 5 per cent, Nissan saw sales fall by 5.3 per cent, while Honda reported drop in sales by 3.1 per cent.

The carmakers attributed the slowdown to geo-political tensions between Japan and China over disputed islands, which has resulted to boycotting of Japanese products by Chinese consumers.

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