Toyota, Honda and Nissan all raised their operating profit forecasts for the current fiscal year on the back of strong sales, in what can be seen as a validation of their view that the shift to fully electric vehicles will take longer and require more patience by the industry.

General Motors and Ford learned that the hard way. They were forced to pull guidance recently following weeks of strikes by the United Auto Workers over wage hikes and job security in the EV future. They also scaled back aggressive electrification plans.

"You go too fast, you crash,” said Christopher Richter, senior analyst at CLSA Securities Japan. "Ignoring the external pressures and getting it right is more important than doing it fast. The Japanese makers seem to appreciate that there would be bumps on the road to electrification.”