According to the leader of the Japan’s auto lobby, the auto industry’s fate hangs in balance as a “sense of crisis” looms over, stemming from the unforeseen low domestic delivery figures and currency issues impacting numerous critical export markets.
Fumihiko Ike, the chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) has said that subpar domestic sales show the government’s stimulus policies appear to have failed, because the April sales tax increase was only part of the problem that continues to hover over the weak internal sales. “We are seeing continued weakness in domestic new car sales that go beyond a backlash to the April sales tax hike,” Ike said, reminding that immediately after the hike a few months back the new car registrations had double-digit drops. Back in October and November, both Honda – the third largest Japanese automaker – and No.1 in the world Toyota decided to amend negatively their domestic vehicle sales targets.
Ike, who is also Honda’s chairman, said that the current government’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s stimulus policies – also referred to as Abenomics – designed to end years of deflation Japan have ultimately failed to spur consumption of big-ticket items like cars. He added that besides the internal economy issues, Japan’s companies are “undeniably” affected by the turmoil in emerging-market over crumbling currencies.