July 13, 2007

Japanese automakers expand exports in face of record low domestic sales

Washington, D.C. – Japanese domestic auto sales have hit a 30-year low, while the country’s artificially weak yen has helped drive record levels of exports to the U.S., according to auto industry company sales reports.

“The huge misalignment of Japan yen is giving Japanese auto manufacturers an unfair and undeserved trade advantage over U.S. companies,” says Stephen J. Collins, President of the Automotive Trade Policy Council, whose members include DaimlerChrysler, Ford and General Motors. “These latest figures should refute claims that the major surge of Japanese auto exports to the U.S. is being driven by market forces. It’s clear that the primary beneficiary of Japan’s 25 to 30 per cent undervalued yen is the Japanese auto industry, which is reaping a $4,000 to $10,000 yen subsidy for every vehicle it ships to the U.S.”

The Council says that sales of automobiles exported from Japan rose 13.7 per cent in the first half of 2007 over the same period last year, an increase of 135,498 vehicles, while sales of U.S.-built autos by Japanese manufacturers increased only 2 per cent. Meanwhile, sales in Japan have hit a 30-year low, dropping 10.5 per cent during the first half of 2007 from a year earlier, to 1,788,440 units, according to the Japan Automobile Dealers Association.

Connect with Autos.ca