Japanese Auto Exports Rise 7.4% In March From Year Earlier

By Agence France-Presse Japanese auto exports (which include passenger cars, trucks and buses) in March rose 7.4% from a year earlier to 395,025 units, thanks to an improvement in the U.S. economy, an industry association said April 26. The March exports marked the third consecutive year-on-year rise, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) said. Of the total, passenger car exports rose 8% to 332,988 vehicles and truck exports grew 4.7% to 57,937, with bus shipments up 2.9% at 4,100, the association said. In value terms, exports of motor vehicles and auto parts gained 7.6% to $8.1 billion, it said. By region, auto exports to the United States jumped 24% to 161,280 units but European Union-bound shipments fell 5.5% to 63,124. "Clearly, the recovery of the North American market has helped Japanese auto exports in recent months," says JAMA spokesperson Aki Yanase. Exports for European and Asian nations are decreasing due partly to slowing demand in those markets and because Japanese automakers have been shifting their factories overseas, Yanase said. Japanese auto exports in the fiscal year to March fell 2.9% to 4,248,392 from the previous year. Passenger car exports skidded 2.7% to 3,641,333 vehicles. Truck exports also fell 5.1% to 561,991 units, with bus exports rising 6.1% to 45,068 units. "In the long run, the trend of lower auto exports is likely to continue because Japanese automakers are moving their production facilities abroad," Yanase says. Meanwhile, motorcycle exports dropped 11.8% to 149,000 in March, falling for the seventh straight month. In the fiscal year to March, motorcycle exports fell 8.7% to 1,513,785 units, JAMA said. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2002

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