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Mazda sees strong US demand for now, but expects slowdown from spring

Mazda Motor Corp said on Thursday that vehicle demand in the United States would remain strong for the remainder of 2022. Still however, the US economy will probably slow after the spring of 2023 amid rising interest rates.

“As for the U.S. market from next spring onward, we believe that the economy will gradually slow down,” Yasuhiro Aoyama, senior managing executive officer, was quoted as saying by Reuters.

“As the tight semiconductor market is still continuing, the supply-demand relationship is not likely to loosen so easily.”

An environment of higher interest rates and persistently high inflation would likely prompt clients to buy lower grade vehicle models, according to Mazda executives.

Mazda’s US sales decreased 30% year-on-year during the first 6 months of the business year that begins in April due to a production cut resulting from the COVID-19-related lockdowns in Shanghai.

The auto maker has also revised down its global sales objective by 133,000 vehicles (about 10%) to 1.2 million vehicles as a result of carrier vessel shortage and production cuts due to chip crunch.

On the other hand, the company revised up its operating profit forecast for the current business year through the end of March 2023 by 17% to JPY 140 billion due to the weaker Japanese currency.

Mazda also said it expected the chip shortage to remain “severe”, as supply shortages in new semiconductor parts have appeared.

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