Japan Auto Struggles at Home

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1st-half fiscal 2007 sales of new autos are down 8.1% year-over-year to 2.48M autos. Backout mini-car sales and the figure stands at -8.8%. This is reportedly the lowest level in 33-years and the first time in four-years for mini-cars to have suffered a decline in sales (-6.8% y/y to 896,334 units sold). Ex-mini cars, the best performers were Mitsubishi +13.2% to nearly 37,000 autos sold and Lexus +23.5% to 15,390.

In the mini-car segment, Daihatsu (JP: 7262) controls 32% of the market vs. 30.7% for Suzuki (JP: 7269).

Separately, Toyota (NYSE: TM) (JP: 7203) says internal forecasts show this year will be the first time overseas unit sales have exceeded domestic sales, as overseas units sales are expected to total more than 4.3M autos (est. total sales of 8.6M).

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