For all the talk of Japan's automakers shifting significant production of vehicles in the wake of the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and associated tsunami, the outlook for 2012 auto domestic sales at least looks rosy according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA; Tokyo). And while it is early days yet, depending on how exports pan out, perhaps one of PlasticsToday's 2012 predictions will not come true at least for now. If so, then that's good news for the local industry, particularly plastics processors, given hard economic times to boot in Japan.
JAMA predicts a 21.7% rebound in passenger vehicles sales in Japan this year to 4,291,000 units. Sales amounted to3,524,789 vehicles in 2011, down over 16% from 4,212,267 in 2010. JAMA also predicts an increase in commercial vehicle sales, although this sector was not hit to the same extent last year. In fact damage from the earthquake triggered strong demand for heavy trucks, which actually grew 7% in 2011 and is slated for 18.1% growth this year to 63,000 vehicles.