03 March 2015

Japan Car Production By Brand : 1970-79


The progress continued. In the 60's Japanese car production increased by 2.5 million and in the 70's 3 million. At this time Japan was making its cars at home and exporting them, especially to the US. Lower production costs in Japan was the reason they didn't want to build plants in the US.

In the 70's doubling production and more was common for most brands. In the ten year period, major winners were Toyota (with local sales up 61%) and Nissan (local +52%), coupled to even better export growth. This led to Toyota production being up 98%, Nissan 93%, Honda 155%, Mazda 188%, Mitsubishi 114%, and Isuzu 360%. Exports were driving the car industry.

Subaru, Daihatsu and Suzuki were the exceptions, all reducing production volumes over the ten years. From 70-79 they all lost home market sales (Daihatsu -30%, Subaru -40% and Suzuki -54%), while exports were insufficient to make up the decline. By 1979 Suzuki exports were less than 10% and Daihatsu about 25% of total production. Subaru had got to nearly half its volume as exports, but the dramatic slump in domestic sales negated that. So losing so much market share at home was their issue, without enough export growth to compensate. Production for Subaru was -3%, Daihatsu -6% and Suzuki -52%.


Year Toyota Nissan Honda Mazda Mitsub

1970 1,068,321 899,008 276,884 224,520 246,422

1971 1,400,186 1,101,506 215,256 300,980 260,981

1972 1,487,661 1,352,251 235,248 379,703 222,890

1973 1,631,940 1,487,360 256,962 465,734 280,998

1974 1,484,737 1,255,669 316,012 378,928 233,121

1975 1,714,836 1,532,731 328,107 387,145 288,846

1976 1,730,767 1,610,319 473,597 446,618 402,844

1977 1,884,260 1,615,866 576,631 498,691 486,432

1978 2,039,115 1,733,132 652,920 493,111 628,886

1979 2,111,302 1,738,946 706,375 647,001 528,555


Year Subaru Daihatsu Isuzu Suzuki Total

1970 158,259 141,636 18,815 144,843 3,180,678

1971 115,466 157,751 14,769 150,963 3,719,829

1972 130,339 110,430 13,274 90,493 4,024,261

1973 130,730 113,764 14,734 88,328 4,472,523

1974 102,209 77,749 28,140 55,277 3,933,816

1975 108,663 92,123 64,735 50,668 4,569,829

1976 158,179 70,964 91,157 43,347 5,029,768

1977 155,705 82,601 74,971 55,888 5,433,022

1978 140,229 123,233 102,883 62,459 5,977,946

1979 153,841 133,556 86,397 69,798 6,177,750

Data source: JAMA.

Overall though, a very successful decade...again. Exports had gone from a quarter of production in 1970 to just over half by 1979. This can be seen with Japanese brands increasing domestic sales in this period by 26%, while total production went up 94%. This was the decade that exports took off.

However, political pressure was building and Japanese firms.  Starting in the 1980's voluntary limits on car exports to the US meant that building cars there was the only way to continue a sales expansion in that crucial market. Things had to change, and they did. 

No comments: