Exports of vehicles climb 34% on year

Exports of passenger cars, trucks and buses rose 33.9 percent in January from the same month last year, backed by increased competitiveness in overseas markets caused by the yen’s fall against the dollar, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association reported Feb. 26.

The total was 355,190 units. Passenger car exports rose 35.1 percent to 280,046 units, while those of trucks increased 29.5 percent to 71,024 units. Bus exports rose 27.5 percent to 4,120 units, JAMA said. Exports to all regions except Asia increased and all Japanese automakers except Suzuki Motor Co. expanded their overseas shipments, the association said.

U.S.-bound exports rose as much as 75.3 percent. The sharp increase is expected to fuel concerns among the Big Three U.S. automakers that Japanese firms will take advantage of brisk demand in the American market and put increased efforts into exports again. JAMA officials tried to brush aside such concerns, saying that exports will be increasingly replaced by local production in the long term.