On the Japanese Automotive Industry

Where did the Japanese go?

The Cherry Blossom Festival at the Mitsubishi dealer was one of the highlights
of the life in the country-side - even if no one really knew what the celebration was about.
There were beer and sausages, served with at least some special models, if not completely new vehicles. The names were Galant EXE or Space Runner which helped the manufacturers to a market share of about two percent at the beginning of the nineties. Today
Mitsubishi's share is at 0.9 percent, the European headquarters in Amsterdam shrank to a few office rooms, and there won't be a successor for the Colt, a model which was built in the Netherlands, especially for the European market.
Also, Honda and Mazda sales have been going down; even Nissan fell from 3% to 2.1 % since 1990.
At the same time Hyundai‘s market share rose from 0.1% in 1991 to 2.5 % and 1.3% for Kia.
Is quiet clear that the enemy might be, "The increasing strength of Korean manufacturers is surely one of the factors" says Christoph Stadler, the sales leader of Honda Germany. In addition to that, Europe is no longer the most profitable Market - with the result that the Honda model policy focuses on their domestic and U.S. market.
Managing Director of Germany-Nissan, Mr. Andreas Gabriel has also to fight with model-specific problems: "One reason for the sales decrease is the absence of volume models like Almera and Primera."
According to the director of Mazda-Germany "Vehicles with diesel engine and Automatic transmission as well as compact SUV" would help.
4-wheel drive specialists like Subaru, and small car expert Suzuki are not covering all segments, however their market share is not as volatile as the ones of the other Japanese competitors.
Their focus on niche markets might be the reason .
In comparison to that Daihatsu is surrendering, due to the increasingly stringent security and emission regulations.
What about Toyota? The industry’s giant was able to increase their share from 3.1%...