TOKYO – Japanese automakers’ plants in European Union countries produced 1,487,994 vehicles in 2016, up 7% over the previous year although still below peak levels in 2007 and 2008, according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Assn.
In 2015, Japanese OEMs produced 1,401,523 units.
JAMA, in a study published in June, said exports from Europe last year accounted for 291,647 units, or 20% of Japanese production in the region. Exports fell 17% from a 352,987-unit peak the year before.
Of last year’s exports from Europe, 68,900 went to North America; 30,100 to Latin America; 28,400 to the Middle East; 22,900 to Africa; 22,400 to Oceania; and 16,800 to Asia. Exports to Commonwealth of Independent States countries, including Russia and Ukraine, totaled 102,100.
Meanwhile, imports into Europe from Japan grew to 611,559 units, up 17% year-on-year.
JAMA further reported Japanese OEMs purchased a record €15.4 billion ($17.5 billion) in EU-made components in 2016, up from €14.1 billion ($16.0 billion) in 2015 and surpassing the previous high of €15.1 billion ($17.1 billion) in 2007.
According to the report, Japanese OEMs operate 14 plants in seven EU countries including Czech Republic (one), France (one), Hungary (one), Poland (two), Portugal (two), Spain (three), and the U.K. (four).
Toyota and Nissan operate seven plants and four plants, respectively, while Honda, Suzuki and Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus each operate one.
JAMA also reports Japanese automakers invested $599 million in manufacturing facilities to produce a next-generation Qashqai and X-Trail at Nissan Motor Mfg. (U.K.) from 2016, a new Renault and Daimler model at Nissan Motor Iberica in 2017, and a gasoline engine and hybrid-vehicle transaxle at Toyota Motor Mfg. Poland from 2017 to 2019.
These investments follow $666 million in upgrades in 2015, almost entirely at Nissan’s Sunderland, U.K., facility.