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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Japan's Auto Industry Sucking Air

The Japanese car industry is expecting its worst year since 1978—a 34-year-low.

But why?

It's not like Japan makes a crappy car... no... this is the fall-out from the March 11, 2011 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami and because of the radiation leaks from a very naughty nuclear reactor in Fukushima-ken (Fukushima Prefecture).

According to the just-released results from the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, automobile sales will be down by 3.3 per cent during the current fiscal year, ending March 2012 - even though some 4.45 million cars are expected to be sold during that period.

This is the first time in 2011 that the Association has openly voiced its concern regarding less than rosy car sales - though it does offer up an opinion every March.

But it did not do so this past March 2011, as it delayed its expectations due to the disasters... wanting to wait and see just what sort of impact the disasters had on Japan and its economy. Obviously, those disasters have hit Japan hard.

The Association does, however, expect to see an upsurge in sales starting in September 2011, as Japan's auto industry is now more or less back to its normal output levels.

Between September 2011 and March 2012, the Association expects a 17.4 per cent year-on-year rise in sales. Compare this with the March through August 2011 sales drop of 28.6 per cent.

Association chairman Shiga Toshiyuki (surname first) predicts that while demand will rebound by over 10 per cent, overall demand will still be sluggish.

It's true... for the first time in my life, I do not own an Asian car (I once owned a Korean 2001 Hyundai Tiburon - that could actually hit 235 kph). Well, I do actually currently own a Mazda Tribute...  but I don't get to drive it as much as my wife... so two weeks ago when I was looking for a car, I only had eyes for a SAAB (SAAB stands for Sierra-Alpha-Alpha-Bravo) 900S. No... I haven't suddenly struck it rich. It's a 1997. And... the friggin' starter engine blew five days after I bought it. And while you would assume that would just be because of the way I tend to abuse my cars... no... this is a known problem with the SAABs of this vintage. I should have bought Japanese and helped a brother out.

Somewhere with my Swedish meatball,
Andrew Joseph
PS: My SAAB car runs fine for what I need it for. Driving home with my son now takes 50 minutes tops, as opposed to 1-1/2 hours on the bus, train and bus... on a good day.  This 14+ year-old car gets better mileage than my Mazda Tribute ( I have no idea how fast it can go, as my son has caused me lead foot to be removed) ... I'm not dissing Mazda here... I still fondly miss my first ever car, a 1986 Mazda 323. Small, light and very fast (it could go well over 180 kph!) - and yes, it only came in white that year for the North American market. That car drove like the wind and I have no idea why I am still alive or anybody who rode with me.
PPS: The family did also own a 1997 Ford Escort station wagon. Just like a real escort, this Ford took my money a f**ked me. 
PPPS: I also had a top-of-the-line 1987 Toyota Camry station wagon given to me used by my dad after he either wanted a newer one, or knew I really needed a second car. That was a great car though it only had a top speed of 170 kph no matter how much I stood on the pedal.
PPPPS: Despite a disdain for the American market, I would still love to get my hands on a 1957 Chevy Nomad in Inca Silver, or a 1970 Mercury Cougar, or a 1969 Dodge Daytona or a 1965 Pontiac GTO. It has nothing to do with Japan, but I can dream, can't I?


  1. 235 kpm?! Dude with a death wish! Seriously.... As an anarchist and anti-state lunatic, I always follow the law and drive under the speed limit. So that the police never have any reason to stop me. Every time I see a cop stopping someone for speeding or doing something to break traffic law, I raise my fist and shout, "Ha! Ha! You can't get me Copper!"

  2. PS: I love that photo of the Japanese Schoolgirl Prostitutes to the right of this... Maybe the title should read, "Japanese Schoolgirl Prostitutes from Hell" or "Japanese Schoolgirl Prostitutes Home Wreckers!" or something like that!

  3. Yup... 235. I had two speeding tickets in 27 years... one for 61 in a 50 zone and a 103 in a 90 zone. Both were 25 years ago.
    I play nice now.
    I've always wanted to lead the anarchists... :)-