In January 2021, domestic car production in Japan declined further under pressure from production cuts by some car manufacturers due to a global shortage of semiconductor chips.
Domestic production of passenger cars by the country's top automakers fell 10% year on year to about 646,000 units in January. Some Japanese carmakers were forced to cut production in the domestic market within a month due to a shortage of semiconductors.
Subaru temporarily suspended production of cars in the domestic market in mid-January. Domestic production of Honda Motor vehicles declined in January from last year for the first time in five months, while Suzuki Motor reported the first drop in monthly vehicle production in two months.
Japan's largest car manufacturer Toyota Motor also said its domestic car production fell for the first time in five months from last year's level. The company previously stated that its production was not affected by the shortage of semiconductors.
Toyota resumed operations on all of its assembly lines in Japan today after being forced to temporarily close half of them in response to a shortage of auto parts caused by the February 13 earthquake that hit Japan's northeast coast.
Japan re-imposed a state of emergency in January to contain the spread of Covid-19, prompting fears of an economic slowdown. Sales of new passenger cars in the country increased 8% year on year to 208,279 units in January, according to the industry group of the Japan Automobile Dealers Association.