Exports from Japan's Big Four have been down for the fourth consecutive month, foreseen by nine consecutive months of falling production in Japan, according to the latest report from the Japanese Automotive Manufacturers Association.
Exports of scooters from Japan have increased year-over-year, up 40 percent for under 50cc and 20 percent for 50-125cc, but the largest scooters and motorcycles have experienced declining exports for another month. Exports of 250cc and greater motorcycles have dropped 19 percent year-over-year, following a 5 percent increase in January 2012.
Exports to the U.S. are up for the biggest and the smallest engine classes, with under 50cc exports to the U.S. up 200 percent, year-over-year, to nearly 2,400 units in January 2013. Exports of 50cc-250cc bikes to the U.S. are down year-over-year by 24 percent.
Suzuki saw exports rise by nearly 27 percent in January, making it the sole bike manufacturer from JAMA to increase exports in the first month of 2013. Exports from Yamaha and Honda were down 20 percent each, and Kawi saw exports drop 46 percent in January.
Production down another month
Complications in the European Union have caused further struggles in Japan, pushing production down for a ninth consecutive month. Production over the past six months is down 17 percent compared to the same period of last year. Production for motorcycles greater than 250ccs is down 10 percent over the past six months compared to the same period of last year.
In January, scooter production was relatively flat with 2012. However, production of 250cc and greater motorcycles was down 22 percent, dragging total production down 20 percent year-over-year.
Suzuki seemed unaffected by it all, with production flat with 2012 and exports up year-over-year. Production from Yamaha and Honda was down by 7 percent and 29 percent, respectively, and Kawasaki was down by 46 percent during the first month of 2013.