Japan’s new-vehicle market grew 2.4% for the fourth consecutive month in December 2022 to 344,365 units, compared with weak year-earlier sales of 336,442 units, according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.
Component shortages continued to affect automakers’ output, particularly at Toyota, albeit to a lesser extent than earlier in the year and the same period last year.
Last month, the Japanese government revised up its full-year GDP growth forecast for the country to 1.5%, with expectations that rising capital spending and higher wages will support domestic consumption.
Total vehicle sales fell 5.6% last year to 4,201,321 – the lowest level in 45 years – from 4,448,340 in 2021, mainly due to a weak first half of the year. Passenger car sales were down 6.2% to 3,448,298 units, while truck sales were down 2.4% to 747,543 units and buses and coaches were down over 20% to 5,480 units.
Toyota Sales fell over 12% to 1,247,585 units in 2022, with the automaker being hardest hit by last year’s supply chain disruption Suzuki strengthened its position with a drop of just 1% to 602,721 units, daihatsu 575,559 (+0.6%), Honda 568,003 (-2.0%), Nissan 449,458 (-0.5%) and Mazda 161,308 (+2.5%).
Sales of other vehicles including imports fell by almost 7% to 242,284 units.
Separate data released by six Japanese automakers showed combined U.S. sales fell nearly 18% to 4,758,614 units last year, with chip shortages significantly impacting sales.