July new car sales plummet 28%

08/02/2011
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TOKYO (majirox news) — New car sales in Japan during July fell to 241,472 vehicles, 27.6% year-on-year, the 11th consecutive month of decline, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association (JADA) said Aug. 1.

Small passenger car sales dropped by 27.2% to 119,908 vehicles, the biggest decline among any type of vehicle compared with sales results from July 2010.

Toyota Motor Co. sales fell by 37%, Honda Motor Co. was down 33.7% and Nissan Motor Co. by 17.6%.

Japan Mini Vehicle Association (JMVA) said compact car sales also fell in July, dropping 14.1% compared to the same month last year to 131,586 vehicles. July was the 10th consecutive month that compact car sales fell, according to the association.

JADA spokesman Osama Ito said there were two main causes for July’s drop.

“About a year ago the government ended its tax incentives for small cars,” Ito told Majirox News. “Then after Japan’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami a significant number of automotive parts manufacturers were destroyed and haven’t recovered.

He added that some of these factories were the only source in the world of the specific parts they manufactured.

According to Paul Nolasco, Toyota Motor Corp. spokesman, the auto maker’s production was put on hold after March 11 and they had several days of zero production.

“But we are almost back to where we should be and clearly on the road to recovery,” he said. “It was mostly our parts suppliers that suffered the most damage.”

Nolasco noted that Toyota visited hundreds of part suppliers, helping staff get production lines back up and making sure they were in working order.

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