Japanese Automakers Expect Gains to Continue in Fiscal 2014

Lesser players Suzuki and Subaru manufacturer Fuji Heavy Industries posted both record earnings and sales in fiscal 2013.

Roger Schreffler

May 29, 2014

13 Min Read
NBOX Japanrsquos bestselling kei car in 2013
N-BOX Japan’s best-selling kei car in 2013.

TOKYO – Japanese automakers boast overall robust production and sales in fiscal 2013 and many report record earnings.

Here’s a roundup of how each performed and their expectations for the current fiscal year:


Toyota reports fiscal-2013 earnings and sales of ¥2.3 billion ($22.4 billion) and ¥25.7 trillion ($252.2 billion), up 73.5% and 16.4%, respectively, from the prior year.

By region, Japan accounted for 55.6% of the No.1 automaker’s global sales at ¥14.3 trillion ($139.8 billion). North America followed with ¥8.1 trillion ($79.4 billion), up 29.2%; Asia, ¥4.9 trillion ($47.8 billion), up 11.2%; Europe, ¥2.7 trillion ($26.6 billion), up 30.1%; and other markets, ¥2.3 trillion ($22.8 billion), up 11.6%.

Toyota’s operating income in Japan surged 162%, to ¥1.5 trillion ($14.8 billion). North America followed with ¥326.0 billion ($3.2 billion), up 46.9%; Asia, ¥395.7 billion ($3.9 billion), up 5.2%, and other parts of the world, unchanged at ¥42.5 billion ($415 million).

The automaker’s market share in Japan, including subsidiaries Daihatsu and Hino, was 42.2%.

Toyota produced a record 8,946,073 vehicles, up 4.5% year-on-year, in fiscal 2013. Including Daihatsu and Hino the total grew 5.3% to 10,236,055 units, also a new high.

Within Japan, the automaker produced 3,377,598 vehicles, unchanged from the previous fiscal year. Of the total, 3,036,891 were cars. Japanese production including Daihatsu and Hino models rose 1.6% to 4,344,892 units.

Production outside Japan totaled 5,891,163 units, up 8.2%, including 5,568,475 Toyotas and the remainder Daihatsus and Hinos.

Fiscal-2014 earnings and sales are projected to fall slightly to ¥2.3 trillion ($22.5 billion) and ¥25.7 trillion ($251.2 billion), respectively, with unit sales including the Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino brands, growing to 10.25 million, up 1.2%.

Included in the sales forecast are 2.62 million units in North America, up 3.6%; 1.63 million in Asia, up 1.3%; 850,000 in Europe, up 0.7%; 830,000 in the Middle East, up 0.7%; 430,000 in South and Central America, up 4.1%; 280,000 in Africa, up 4.9%; and 250,000 in Oceania, down 3.5%.

The automaker is forecasting a 2.3% downturn in domestic production to 3.2 million units. The total is only for Toyota and Lexus models, not Daihatsu and Hino. The shortfall will be offset by 6.9% growth in overseas production which, again excluding Daihatsu and Hino, is projected to grow to 5.95 million units. The overseas share of production will grow to 65%, also a new high.

Total output excluding Daihatsu and Hino is pegged at 9.15 million units.

The strong recovery in earnings and sales will allow Toyota to invest an estimated ¥960 billion ($9.4 billion) in R&D in fiscal 2014, up 5.4% from last year's levels and tops among Japanese automakers.

The automaker also is projecting a nearly 2% increase in capital expenditures to ¥1 trillion ($10 billion), including ¥220 billion ($2.2 billion) in North America up 27.2%; ¥160 billion ($1.6 billion) in Asia, down 32.4%; and ¥500 billion ($4.9 billion) in Japan, up 4.6%.


Nissan, Japan’s No.2 automaker, achieves fiscal-2013 earnings of ¥498.4 billion ($4.9 billion) on sales of ¥10.5 trillion ($103.0 billion), up 13.6% and 20%, respectively.

By major market, sales in Japan rose 7.3% to ¥4.8 trillion ($47.4 billion) and jumped 30.4% to ¥4.82 trillion ($47.5 billion) in North America; ¥1.9 trillion ($18.5 billion) in Europe; ¥1.6 trillion ($15.7 billion) in Asia; and ¥999.4 billion ($9.8 billion) in other world markets.

Japan led in earnings at ¥322.6 billion ($3.2 billion), followed by North America, ¥191.9 billion ($1.9 billion), and Asia, ¥53.3 billion ($524 million). Both Europe and other markets posted deficits of ¥23.6 billion ($232 million) and ¥30 billion ($295 million).

Nissan is projecting fiscal-2014 earnings to rise 7.3% to ¥535 billion ($5.3 billion) and sales to increase 2.9% to ¥10.8 trillion ($106 billion), with unit sales projected to grow 8.9% to 5.65 million, up from 5.19 million in fiscal 2013.

The overseas market accounted for 86% of Nissan's fiscal-2013 deliveries including 1,285,105 units in the U.S., 1,265,180 in China, 363,300 in Southeast Asia and Oceania, 675,742 in Europe (including Russia), 265,499 in Mexico, 226,400 in the Middle East and 186,300 in Latin America.

Nissan claimed an 8.2% market share in the U.S., 24.9% in Mexico, 3.5% in Europe (excluding Russia), 5.9% in Russia and 6.1% in China.

In Japan, Nissan's fiscal-2013 share stood at 12.6% on sales of 719,023 units including 225,639 minicars. Domestic sales rose 11.1%, powered in part by the 0.66L DAYZ and DAYZ ROOX minis jointly produced with Mitsubishi.

Nissan produced a record 5,078,081 units, up 6.0%, in fiscal 2013. Included were a record 1.56 million assemblies in the U.S. and Mexico combined, 1.72 million in Asia, 716,000 in Europe and 1 million in Japan. Other markets, including South Africa, Brazil and Egypt, totaled 86,000 units.

Foreign production grew 9.4% to 4,077,891 units, also an all-time high.

The automaker produced 1,243,358 units in China, up 28.8% and passing Japan, which fell to 1,000,190, down 5.7%. Contributing to Nissan’s slide in Japan was a 10.2% decline in exports to 546,654 units. Shipments of Nissan and Infiniti brands to North America, Nissan’s major overseas market, fell 5.6% to a combined 354,144 units.

Nissan's fiscal-2014 production forecast is for 7.7% growth to 5,475,000 units.


Honda reports fiscal-2013 earnings of ¥750.2 billion ($7.3 billion) and revenues of ¥11.8 trillion ($11.6 billion), short of its fiscal 2007 peak. Automotive earnings totaled ¥9.2 trillion ($90 billion) and accounted for 77.4% of the company’s total.

The North American market accounted for 38.8% of Honda’s global automotive profits, which grew 31.6%. North America was followed by Asia, 29%; Japan, 28.5%; and other regions excluding Europe, 6%. Honda reported a ¥17.1 billion ($168 million) operating loss in Europe.

Sales in the Japanese market rose 18.4% to 848,379 units including a record 434,345 minis, up 19.9%. Honda’s 0.66L N-BOX was the nation’s top-selling car with 225,903 deliveries.

The automaker exported 97,311 units from Japan, down 40.4%. Included in the export total were 66,391 to the U.S., down 37.7%.

Japan’s No.3 automaker produced a record 4,403,072 units, up 8.5%. Included were 3,466,193 overseas builds, up 9.0%, and 936,879 in Japan, up 6.9%.

Outside Japan, Honda built 1,777,145 vehicles in North America; 1,397,232 in Asia including China; and 133,624 in Europe. In the U.S. and China, production totals rose to 1,305,785 and 830,471 units, respectively, both new highs.

In fiscal 2014, the automaker is projecting earnings and sales growth to ¥760 billion ($7.4 billion) and ¥12.8 trillion ($124.7 billion) with deliveries growing 11.7% to 4.83 million units, up from 4.32 million last year.

By market, Honda expects to sell 1.81 million vehicles in North America, 1.59 million in China, 170,000 in Europe and 990,000 in Japan.


Mazda reports record fiscal-2013 earnings of ¥182.1 billion ($1.8 billion) on sales of ¥2.7 trillion ($26.3 billion).

In Japan, Mazda sold 243,595 units in fiscal 2013, up 21.3%, giving the brand a 4.4% market share. Top-selling models were the CX-5 and Mazda3 with 39,072 and 31,827 units, respectively.

Overseas, the automaker delivered 391,000 units in North America, including 284,000 in the U.S.; 207,000 in Europe; and 196,000 in China, all up over the previous year. In Australia, Mazda sold 104,000 units, unchanged from fiscal 2012, while Southeast Asia sales fell 26% to 74,000.

The automaker projects further earnings and sales growth in fiscal 2014 to ¥210 billion ($2.1 billion) and ¥2.9 trillion ($28.4 billion), with unit sales projected to increase 6.7% to a record 1.42 million units.

By major market, Mazda expects to sell 440,000 vehicles in North America, 230,000 in China and 220,000 in Europe, up 12.7%, 17.1% and 6.4%, respectively.

Because of faster-than-expected growth, Mazda has revised upward its medium-term business plan. In fiscal 2015, the automaker now projects operating profits of ¥230 billion ($2.3 billion) and a 7% return on sales, up from ¥150 billion ($1.5 billion) and 6% when it announced the plan two years ago.

The automaker estimates the sales share held by its Skyactiv models will grow to 70% in fiscal 2014, up from 51% at present. Skyactiv, a Mazda trade name, is a series of technologies developed by the automaker to raise fuel economy.

In fiscal 2014, the automaker is projecting 230,000 deliveries in Japan, down 6%; 440,000 in North America, up 13.0%; 220,000 in Europe, up 6.0%; 230,000 in China, up 17%; and 300,000 in Australia, Southeast Asia and other global markets, up 2%.

Mazda expects full-scale operation of its new plant in Salamanca, Mexico, which opened in February, will help drive sales growth.

The automaker produced 1,269,296 vehicles, up 5.8%. Included were 1,186,745 cars and 82,551 commercial vehicles. Of the year’s total, the automaker produced 972,533 units in Japan, up 10.6%, and 296,763 overseas, down 7.5%.

In Japan, the CX-5 was the biggest production model with 308,720 assemblies. The compact CUV was followed by the Axela and Atenza (sold overseas as the Mazda3 and Mazda6) with 291,414 and 143,162 units, respectively.

Outside Japan, Mazda produced 112,142 Mazda6 models, 66,228 BT-50 pickup trucks and 43,764 Mazda 3s.

Of the automaker’s Japan production total, exports rose 12.6% to 790,800 units including 345,138 to North America, 203,144 to Europe, and 97,871 to Asia and the Pacific Rim.


Fuji Heavy Industries, maker of Subaru cars, tallied fiscal-2013 earnings of ¥326.5 billion ($3.2 billion), up 171.1%, and sales of ¥2,408.1 billion ($2.4 billion), up 25.9%, both new highs.

Strong overseas demand for the Subaru Impreza and Forester lifted exports 30.2% year-on-year to 499,194 units. Japan sales rose 10.4% to 186,845 units including 57,814 minicars, up 9%. Daihatsu has produced minis for Fuji since 2012.

The fiscal-2014 earnings forecast is ¥340 billion ($3.3 billion), up 4.1%, on a 13% sales gain to ¥2.7 trillion ($26.6 billion).

Subaru deliveries are projected to grow 11% to a new high of 916,000, up from 825,000 in fiscal 2013. By market, the forecast includes 531,000 in North America, up 11%; 60,000 in Europe, up 26.6%; 57,000 in China, up 27.8%; 74,000 elsewhere in the world, down 0.2%.

Japanese sales are projected at 195,000, up 7.3%, including 51,000 minicars produced for the automaker by Toyota subsidiary Daihatsu.

Subaru output increased a fourth consecutive year to 813,422 units, up 6.4% from fiscal 2013. Production comprised 649,911 units in Japan, up 11.5%, and 163,511 overseas, down 9.8%, the first decline in five years.

Fuji has announced a new midterm business plan aimed at boosting earnings and sales to ¥1 trillion ($9.8 billion) and ¥8 trillion ($78.2 billion) in fiscal 2017, maintaining its operating income ratio at more than 12%. The company hopes to boost global Subaru sales to 1.1 million units while raising productivity 20% by 2020.


Suzuki reports fiscal-2013 earnings of ¥179.3 billion ($1.7 billion), up 19%, on sales of ¥2.6 trillion ($25.6 billion), up 13.8%. The record figures are for the company’s automotive division, which accounts for 90% of sales.

Due to a weaker yen against the dollar and other major currencies, Japan accounted for more than 70% of Suzuki’s consolidated earnings of ¥134.5 billion ($1.3 billion), up 31.2%. Following Japan were Asia, ¥59.4 billion ($584 million), up 56.1%; Europe, ¥4.1 billion ($40 million), rebounding from an operating loss the previous year on the strength of the newly launched SX4 S-Cross CUV; and all other regions, ¥0.2 billion ($2 million), down 92.1%.

Suzuki sold 728,112 cars in Japan, up 8.4%, and 1,982,776 overseas, down 2.3%, in fiscal 2013. Minicar sales, powered by the new Spacia, Hustler and Carry models, totaled 646,979 units, up 10.3%. Minis accounted for nearly 90% of Suzuki’s Japan sales total.

Revenues in Japan, which accounted for 38.5% of the total, rose 8.8% to ¥1.1 trillion ($11.7 billion). Outside Japan, Suzuki reported sales of ¥1.8 trillion ($17.6 billion), up 17.4%.

By region, sales in Asia (mostly India) rose to ¥1.2 trillion ($11.5 billion), up 16.9%, followed by Europe, ¥394.7 billion ($3.9 billion), up 37.8%; North America, ¥64.9 billion ($637 billion), down 32.1%; and other regions, ¥194 billion ($1.9 billion), up 14.2%.

Suzuki is projecting fiscal 2014 earnings of ¥188 billion ($1.8 billion), virtually unchanged from fiscal 2013, on sales of ¥3.0 trillion ($29.5 billion), up 2.1%. Sales are seen growing to 2.77 million units, up 1.7% from 2.71 million prior-year.

Suzuki reported a 0.7% decline in production to 2,856,849 units. Overseas output showed a 1.3% uptick to 1,858,933 units, with growth seen in three of the automaker’s four main operations - Thailand, Indonesia and Hungary. China, the fourth, is not mentioned in Suzuki’s provisional production report, thus presumably fell slightly.

In Japan, production fell to 997,916 units, down 4.4%, in fiscal 2013. The decline reflected an 18.1% drop in exports to 152,570.

By major overseas markets, Suzuki sold 1.05 million units in India in fiscal 2013, up 0.3%. Included in the total were 715,000 gasoline-powered cars and 339,000 diesels. Elsewhere, the automaker sold 233,000 units in China, down 7.8%, followed by Europe, 205,000, up 4.0%, and Indonesia, 165,000, up 18.9%.

Suzuki delivered 647,000 0.66L minicars, all in the Japanese market, to account for one-fourth of global sales.

The automaker's fiscal 2014 production target, including OEM minis built for Mazda and Nissan, is 2.93 million units, up 2.7% over 2.86 million last year. Of the projected total, Japan will account for a one-third share on output of 989,000 units.


Mitsubishi reports fiscal-2013 earnings of ¥123.4 billion ($1.2 billion), up 83.1% and an all-time high, and sales of ¥2.1 trillion ($118.3 billion), up 15.3%. Asia accounted for 48.5% of earnings and 23.5% of sales.

Exports from Japan grew a marginal 0.8% to 346,047 units. Japanese sales increased for the first time in four years.

The automaker is projecting fiscal-2014 profits of ¥135.0 billion ($1.3 billion) on revenues of ¥2.3 trillion ($22.5 billion), up 9.9% and 9.4%, on unit sales of 1.4 million, up from 1.26 million in fiscal 2013. Included in the fiscal-2014 forecast are 313,000 units in Japan and 1.08 million overseas.

By region, Mitsubishi is projecting earnings and sales of ¥57 billion ($550 million) and ¥540 billion ($5.3 billion) in Asia; ¥48 billion ($471 million) and ¥550 billion ($5.4 billion) in Europe; and ¥3 billion ($29 million) and ¥500 billion ($4.9 billion) in Japan.

Elsewhere in the world excluding North America, the automaker projects earnings and sales of ¥27 billion ($265 million) and ¥490 billion ($4.8 billion), respectively. In North America, it is forecasting zero earnings on sales of ¥220 billion ($2.2 billion).

Mitsubishi reports fiscal-2013 global production of 1,268,973 vehicles, up 13.1%, almost evenly split between Japan and overseas. Japanese output of 637,079 units was up 31.5% after increasing for 10 consecutive months through March, but the 631,894 overseas build total was down 0.8%.

Outside Japan, the automaker produced 521,926 vehicles in Asia, down 2.5%, and 69,766 in North America, up 45.8%.


Daihatsu, Toyota’s small-car subsidiary, posts record fiscal-2013 earnings of ¥146.7 billion ($1.4 billion) and sales ¥1.9 trillion ($18.7 billion), up 10.3% and 8.4%, respectively.

The automaker is projecting 4.0% declines in fiscal 2014 earnings and sales to ¥140 billion ($1.4 billion) and ¥1.8 trillion ($17.9 billion).

Daihatsu produced a record 1,323,219 vehicles in fiscal 2013, including 807,883 in Japan and 515,336 overseas. Most of the overseas total constitutes Perodua, Daihatsu’s subsidiary in Malaysia, and does not include consigned production to Toyota.


Isuzu, Japan's largest volume producer of trucks, reported fiscal-2013 earnings of ¥174.2 billion ($1.7 billion), up 43.4%, on sales of ¥1.76 trillion ($17.3 billion), up 5.3%.

The truck maker is projecting fiscal-2014 earnings of ¥165.0 billion ($1.6 billion), down 5.3%, on a 4.5% sales increase to ¥1.84 trillion ($18.1 billion).

Rival Hino posted record fiscal-2013 earnings of ¥112.2 billion ($1.1 billion), up 72.3%, on sales of ¥1.7 trillion ($16.6 billion), up 10.3%.

The truck maker, a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota, is projecting fiscal-2014 earnings of ¥90 billion ($881 million), down 19.8%, and sales of ¥1.6 trillion ($15.7 billion), down 5.9%.

Including OEM vehicles built for Toyota (e.g., the Dyna, which is based on the Hino Dutro), Hino produced 352,800 units in fiscal 2013, up 3.1%. Of those, 116,100 were Hinos and 186,700 Toyotas.

For fiscal 2014, Hino is projecting a 6% decline in unit output to 331,600.

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