Subaru Slams Into Reverse as Japan’s Big Seven Automakers Hit The Skids — Panjiva


Subaru Slams Into Reverse as Japan’s Big Seven Automakers Hit The Skids

Cons. Discr. - Autos 738 Corp - Shipping 670 Japan 424 Mode - Seaborne 1379 U.S. 3708

The poor run of performance from Japan’s automakers returned in August, with global production by the top seven automakers having fallen by 7.7% year over year in August, Panjiva’s analysis of company filings shows.

That included a 1.9% drop in domestic production, a 6.2% slide in exports from Japan and a 9.9% slide in international production. The latter has now declined for 10 straight months while exports from Japan had previously climbed by 8.3% in the previous three months.


Chart shows total autos production in Japan (domestic) and overseas (international) as well as exports by the big seven Japanese auto manufacturers. Calculations based on company filings.  Source: Panjiva

Among the automakers all the majors saw a worsening of conditions. Honda was the worst performer with a 53.5% slump in exports, though a 12.9% rise in domestic production would suggest it is prioritizing sales in its home market.

Nissan continued to see a decline in shipments with a 7.2% decline in August being somewhat better than the 17.6% drop in the prior three months. The company had been forced to deny that it was looking to wind down operations in South Korea, Reuters reports. Indeed, sales for all the majors may fall victim to the widening trade spat between the two countries discussed in Panjiva’s research of Sept. 27.

Number one exporter Toyota was only one of two firms – Mazda being the other – to see sustained growth in exports though its global production levels were down overall.

However, the most significant turnaround was at Subaru whose shipments fell 22.4% in August after a 21.8% rise in the prior three months. The company has citedreasons related to shipping vessel schedules” for the drop in exports.


Chart segments exports of vehicles from Japan by automaker. Bubble size indicates total exports in the past 12 months. Calculations based on company financial filings.  Source: Panjiva

Panjiva’s U.S. import data shows that as of August Subaru had seen a record level of shipping from Japan to the United States. The leading shipping line for the company has been NYK Line, which accounted for 86.4% of the firm’s shipments in the 12 months to Aug. 31. 

That followed a 25.5% rise in shipments handled by NYK Line which came at the expense of shipments by Mitsui OSK which accounted for 12.8%. Should Subaru struggle to access shipping services it may need to diversify its shipping services base.


Chart segments U.S. seaborne imports of vehicles associated with Subaru by shipping carrier on a monthly and three-month average basis.  Source: Panjiva

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