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.