Vehicle output surged 8.7% in first half, powered by tax hike deadline

Kyodo

Vehicle output rose 8.7 percent nationwide to 5,066,178 units in the first half compared with a year earlier, as strong demand before the April consumption tax hike more than offset a subsequent decline in sales, an industry body said Thursday.

From January to June, car production surged 9.1 percent to 4,319,949 units, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said.

Truck output grew 6.8 percent to 677,566 units and bus production rose 2.4 percent to 68,663 units.

But vehicle exports fell 5.0 percent during the period to 2,167,873 units, reflecting moves to shift production overseas.

In June alone, vehicle output gained 6.6 percent to 857,317 units, climbing for 10 consecutive months on a year-on-year basis. Exports dropped 4.0 percent during the month to 390,915 units.