Chip shortages and the new crown epidemic are having a further impact on Japanese car sales. Data released recently by an industry group for auto sales showed that domestic sales of new cars in Japan fell 15 percent year-on-year to 2.086178 units in the first half of this year. Production has stalled due to parts shortages and other factors, hitting the lowest level since the first half of 2011 (1.919 million units), when the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred.
New car sales were lower than in the first half of 2020 (2.207 million units), which was affected by the reduction in outings due to the epidemic, and in the first half of 2009 (2.186 million units), when the economy deteriorated due to the Lehman crisis.
The Japan Federation of Automobile Sales Associations and the National Federation of Light Vehicle Associations released these figures. Registered cars (displacement over 660cc) decreased by 16% to 1,285,760 units, while light vehicles decreased by 15% to 800,418 units. By brand of passenger cars, Toyota (excluding Lexus) sales decreased by 19% to 638,050 units. Subaru also declined 21% to 46,008 units, a significant decline.
The sales slump due to parts shortages also expanded in the United States, Europe and China, the main sales regions outside of Japan.
Although sales were not secured due to parts shortage, car companies had to implement price increases due to rising raw material costs. Mazda and Mitsubishi Motors will raise prices without making comprehensive improvements.
Toyota revealed on July 1 that the current model of SUV Land Cruiser (300 series) stopped taking orders. Due to chip shortages and other effects, the delivery period has been extended, and it is possible that the production of the orders received will not be completed before starting production of the next vehicle. Orders for existing models will restart after production returns to normal. It is rare to stop taking orders for a new model shortly after its launch.
In addition to the Land Cruiser, the premium Lexus SUVs “LX” and “NX” have also stopped taking orders for the existing models. In terms of delivery time, the LX is 4 years and the NX is more than 1 year, both of which have become long-term. Generally, companies stop taking orders for existing models before the next model is launched, but Toyota has stopped taking orders earlier due to the extended delivery period.