Following the coronavirus pandemic and a nationwide recession in Japan, exports of Japanese-made cars halved in April and reached a low of about 168,000, before recovering and reaching pre-pandemic levels again in October. Sales within Japan fell from a high 485,000 in March to only 174,000 units in May, according to the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association.
Domestic sales did not recover as well and decreased again in October and November. As the country is battling a new outbreak, production and exports numbers could still dip again, as their reporting lags behind that of domestic sales.
Car exports were especially hard-hit by the coronavirus slump. Overall exports fell only by approximately 22 percent - the biggest decrease since the 2009 recession.
According to Al-Jazeera, Toyota expected an 80 percent drop in its annual operating profit, while Mitsubishi said they expected an even bigger drop of 89 percent. May production of cars in Japan was only a third of March figures but had recovered as of September.