Concurrent with last night's Moody's reminder that it is about to downgrade the Japanese economy, which we have long been claiming is the marginal global economic wildcard, we get an exportindustry update from the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. In short: April car exports were an unprecedented disaster, with the average exporter seeing a 68% drop Y/Y, with some, such as Toyota plunging from 150,118 to only 31,025 cars in April 2011. And while this would be the ideal environment for US carmakers to grab market share, the fact that many are missing critial Made in Japan components in their supply chain means that there is a broad based supply drop. Which is why tomorrow's update of GM's recent channel stuffing practice will be observed with such interest: if the firm reports yet another increase in the cars parked with dealers, then something in the US carmaking space is seriously wrong two months after this Japanese car export free fall.
Japanese Motor Vehicle Exports April 2011:
And as the Truth About Cars reports further, in absolute numbers, export-heavy Toyota was hardest hit with a loss of 119,093 vehicles over April 2010. Nissan is a distant, but nonetheless surprising second with a loss of 37,623 units. All in all, the tsunami did cost the Japanese car industry 265,479 cars not exported, compared to April 2010. In dollar terms, the Japanese industry exported $5.9 billion in cars and parts in April, down $5.7 billion or 49 percent. Globally, the Japanese auto industry lost more than 600,000 cars in April.
Global Production April 2010
|Apr 11||Apr 10||Diff %||Short|