Japan Imports Full Year 2011: VW Golf #1, now in overall Top 30!

VW Golf

* See the Top 20 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

Imports sales in Japan are compiled by a different organisation, the Japan Automobile Importers Association, and 2011 figures are out! Japanese consumers bought 205,857 foreign models in 2011, up 13% on 2010 and bringing the imports market share up to 7.1% from 5.3% in 2010.

As it has been the case for the last 10 years, the VW Golf leads the imports models ranking in Japan but this year it passes a huge milestone: with sales stable at 26,125 units, it goes up from #31 to #24 in the overall Japanese models ranking! It is the first time since JAIA started publishing import models data in 2003 that a foreign car breaks into the overall Top 30!


Japan is a tough nut to crack when it comes to importing foreign models, and one thing is for sure: the Germans have cracked it! 8 of the Top 10 models are from Germany. The VW Polo stays 2nd with 15,171 sales up 5%, ahead of the Mini up 28% at 14,530 units. Then an oddity: the Toyota Lite Ace, one of the few Japanese models produced overseas an reimported in the country.

BMW 5 Series

The Mercedes C-Class is up 2 spots and 27% to #5 and 11,710 sales, but the BMW 5 Series does even better: +53% to 9,257 sales and #6, its highest ever position in Japan. There are 2 newcomers in the Top 10: the  Volvo V60 lands directly to #9 with 6,032 units for its first year, ahead of the BMW X1 up 53% and 3 spots to #10 with 5,874 sales.

Volvo V60

Notice also the Audi A1 shooting straight to #14 with 4,206 units for its first year, an instant match with Japanese consumers’ posh tastes, and the VW Passat (#16) and Sharan (#19) breaking into the Top 20 for the first time.

Previous year: Japan Imports Full Year 2010: VW Golf, Polo and Mini shine

Full Year 2011 and every year since 2003 Top 20 Ranking Tables below.

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