The Japanese car, trucks and buses production saw a 31.5 percent decrease from 2008’s figure, only reaching 7,934,516 units. This is the highest year-to-year decrease since 1996, when the industry introduced the current format for the statistics. This decline also holds a second negative record, as it is the second consecutive yearly decrease.
According to the aforementioned source, the passenger cars segment recorded the smallest decrease of the industry - 30.9 percent to 6,862,161 units.
However, tax reductions offered by the government for the purchase of “green” cars cushioned the production’s fall in the second half of the year. Passenger cars production saw a 9.7 percent increase in December compared to the same month of 2008. This can be translated to a figure of 788,067 units, as breitbart reports.
It seems that the Japanese government would do anything to leave this problem behind in 2010, even if this means playing dirty. A good example for demonstrating this would be the Cash for Clunkers program developed by the Japanese authorities for 2010: It was decided that U.S. cars will be banned from this incentive scheme, although it was pretty obvious that these would not account for a serious share of the sales anyway. Of course both American lawmakers and automotive producers protested and the interdiction was lifted, but the unethical intention remains in history.