Seven major Japanese automakers log profit growth

JIJI

Seven major Japanese automakers enjoyed year-on-year growth in consolidated operating profit for April-June.

Brisk vehicle sales in the United States and Europe more than offset a slump in Japan as well as Thailand and some other emerging economies.

Of them, Toyota Motor Co., Suzuki Motor Corp., Mazda Motor Corp., Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. posted record operating profit for the fiscal first quarter.

Operating profit grew 4.4 percent to ¥692.7 billion at Toyota, 15.5 percent to ¥50.9 billion at Suzuki, 54.4 percent to ¥56.3 billion at Mazda, 13.0 percent to ¥78.7 billion at Fuji Heavy and 93.1 percent to ¥30.9 billion at Mitsubishi.

Honda Motor Co. logged ¥198 billion in operating profit, up 7.1 percent, while Nissan Motor Co.’s operating profit rose 13.4 percent to ¥122.6 billion.

Auto sales in Japan fell at all seven automakers except Honda and Suzuki.

New orders declined after the consumption tax hike in April, although there was a backlog of orders that remained after April due to lags in production of popular models.

“The situation in the July-September period is tough,” said Nagao Masahiko, managing officer of Suzuki. “We are facing a crucial moment,” he added.

The dollar fell to ¥102 from ¥98-99. But foreign exchange rates had only a limited effect on pushing up operating profit due to the depreciation of some emerging economies’ currencies, in addition to a slowdown in the yen’s weakening.

Honda saw changes in exchange rates slice ¥10.8 billion off operating profit.