TOKYO - Japanese carmakers are buying more parts from the European Union for use in their Japan factories.
According to figures from the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Japanese carmakers bought $6.6 billion worth of parts from the EU for the fiscal year to March 31, up 14.2 percent from a year earlier.
Parts imported into Japan totaled $924.7 million, up 10.9 percent, a healthy gain considering the drop in Japan's vehicle output.
EU parts purchased for use in Japanese-owned factories in Europe rose 14.8 percent to $5.7 billion.
By contrast, and for the first time this decade, Japanese carmakers bought fewer imported American parts for use in their Japan plants,
Parts purchased for use in their US factories rose, however, at the fastest pace in four years. Parts purchases from European suppliers also climbed.
JAMA members and their US affiliates bought a total of $28.3 billion in American parts for four-wheel vehicles in the latest fiscal year, up 13.5 percent from a year earlier.
However, parts imported from America for use in Japan totalled only $3.7 billion, down 5.3 percent from a year earlier. It was the first decline since JAMA began tracking purchases of American parts in the year to March 31 1991.
Last year's drop coincided with a 7.5 percent fall in Japanese vehicle production in the latest fiscal year.
Parts bought for use in Japanese-owned factories in America rose 17 percent to $24.6 billion. The rise quickened from gains of 10.3 percent, 7.9 percent, and 6.2 percent in the prior years.
Among individual makers, Toyota Motor Corp.'s purchases of US parts for use in its American factories jumped 30.5 percent to $8.65 billion, carrying its total US parts buying above $10 billion for the first time ever, to $10.4 billion.