Japanís auto sales are up for 2004.
After breaking sales and earnings records in 2001 and 2002, Japanese automakers did it again in 2003 and are primed to turn in another big year in 2004.
With Toyota Motor leading the pack, the combined operating income of Japanís 12 vehicle manufacturers soared to $30.8 billion, up 6.6 percent over fiscal 2002 levels, on 1.7 percent higher sales of $424.8 billion. [See table 1]
This year, with most analysts predicting sales growth, earnings are expected to remain close to record levels: $30.5 billion and $18.0 billion. All vehicle manufacturers, with the exception of Mitsubishi Motors and its truck-making affiliate, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Co., are expected to report profits.
In fiscal 2004, Toyota is expected to report an operating profit of $14.7 billion followed by Nissan Motor at $7.8 billion, Honda Motor at $6 billion and Suzuki Motor at $909 million.
Against this backdrop, an estimated 52 percent of Japanese cars are now produced overseas (see table 3). By 2010, this ratio is expected to increase to more than 60 percent or 15 million units out of global output approaching 25 million. In terms of unit sales, two-thirds of demand for Japanese cars is now outside Japan (see table 4).
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