Toyota and Honda continue cutting output as Japan's sales head for 32-year low


The AIADA is quick to point out that many American-brand cars are built outside the U.S.

The AIADA is quick to point out that many American-brand cars are built outside the U.S.

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In the highly reflexive world of modern markets, forecasts are often self-fulfilling, and that's just more reason to fear the word coming out of Tokyo today. The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) is predicting the worst sales in 32 years for 2009, and already Toyota and Honda have begun cutting even further into their production to adjust for it.

Japan's sales figures are expected to fall 8% to 4,297,600 total cars, trucks and buses for 2009. The reasons stated for the pull back? They sound strikingly familiar to American ears. Speaking at a news conference, JAMA chairman Satoshi Aoki explained the situation: "With the Japanese economy weakening and the outlook for employment looking very uncertain, consumers are in no mood to buy a car."

While things are becoming tougher at home, it's still very important for Japanese carmakers like Honda and Toyota to make their bones in the faltering American car market. But limited access to consumer credit and the common theme of uncertainty for the future are conspiring to prevent any recovery in the U.S. as well.

The end result? Toyota is expecting to post its first net lost in 59 years, and has cut domestic production by 64% through February, reports Bloomberg. Honda similarly hauled back output by 48%, and Nissan is set to report its first full-year loss since Carlos Ghosn grabbed the reigns and turned the company around nine years ago.

 
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