The Japanese Automobile manufacturers Association confirmed today what was already widely known. Motor vehicle production in 2011 in Japan decreased for the first time in two years, totaling 8.40 million units because of the earthquake and resulting tsunami. This was a decrease of 12.8% from the 2010, according to JAMA. The Association did provide some new information about the large economic impact vehicle manufacturing has on the Japanese economy.
Passenger car production fell 13.9% to total of 7.16 million units. Within that category, standard car production dropped 13.7% to 4.18 million units, small car production slipped 13.8% to 1.86 million units, and minicar production dipped 14.4% to 1.12 million units. Truck and bus production also showed a decline from 2011, shrinking 6.0% to 1.14 million units and 4.8% to 104,000 units, respectively.Auto-related employment in Japan at present totals 5.45 million people out of a workforce of 62.6 million. Automobiles, of course, are the focus of an extremely wide range of industrial and related activity, from materials supply and vehicle production to sales, servicing, shipping and other auto-centered operations.
The automotive industry is one of the Japanese economy’s core industrial sectors. In 2010 automotive shipments accounted for 16.4% of the total value of Japan’s manufacturing shipments, and 36.6% of the value of the machinery industries’ combined shipments. Automotive shipments – both domestic and export shipments, including motorcycles and auto parts, totaled ¥47.3 trillion in 2010, up 16.8% from the previous year.