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

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.

The rest of this content is for members only.
Log In Register
Categories: Japan
  1. June 14th, 2012 at 17:09 | #1

    Really Awesome Japanese import vehicle run all long year.

  2. Rutger (D-C)
    January 13th, 2012 at 23:32 | #2

    “Then an oddity: the Toyota Lite Ace, one of the few Japanese models produced overseas an reimported in the country.”

    The Nissan March is also imported from Thailand: http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2010/07/thai-made-2011-nissan-march-goes-on.html

    Like in most countries VW is doing great, although the market share of the two most popular models dropped slightly. Volvo is doing surprisingly great in Japan.

    • matgasnier
      January 14th, 2012 at 02:00 | #3

      Thanks Rutger! Oddly the Nissan March’s sales seem to be counted in the general ranking… otherwise it would come #1 import by far I would say…

  3. Tengil
    January 13th, 2012 at 22:20 | #4

    “You do not know nothing at all about cars” that’s the point, you got it. Because, as you wrote, i know all about cars, so listen to me and learn :)

  4. Tengil
    January 13th, 2012 at 21:01 | #5

    that’s rich, coming from you.

  5. January 13th, 2012 at 20:51 | #6

    No comments to people like you that like to provoque! Please do never answer to my comments anymore! You do not know nothing at all about cars and provoque the others. Keep well.

  6. Tengil
    January 13th, 2012 at 20:49 | #7

    My last post was of course addressed to my dear friend miguel :)). By the way respect for the the germans to dare to step into the japanese lion’s den and survive.

  7. Tengil
    January 13th, 2012 at 19:40 | #8

    Don’t get ridiculous, stick to the facts and remain calm and polite, what you are known for in this blog :)

  8. January 13th, 2012 at 19:30 | #9

    You write like a child Tengil!!! Please!!!!

  9. Tengil
    January 13th, 2012 at 19:16 | #10

    I can only repeat, what i wrote before, Ford recalls now over half a million cars due to “technical problems”, that says it all. It’s not difficultt check this in the internet. You can find it everywhere in the internet. I encourage you to do it.

  10. January 13th, 2012 at 16:58 | #11

    It’s interesting that VW Golf is popular in Japan. They must be excellent cars.

  11. Tim
    January 13th, 2012 at 10:25 | #12

    I can imagine the increase of foriegn models last year is mainly due to the supply issues with Japanese cars after the disruptions earlier in the year. It wouldn’t be surprising if there is a reverse trend this year.

  12. January 13th, 2012 at 08:50 | #13

    You´re completely wrong! Where do you live?? Ford is one of world´s most reliable marque. Go to http://www.reliabilityindex.com or http://www.whatcar.co.uk and you´ll see the reliability survey results and realised that Ford come in the first 10 places!!!

  13. January 13th, 2012 at 08:47 | #14

    Tengil, seems that you do not read the articles and them sources in this blog!!!!! Go to :
    Japan Automobile Importers Association and you´ll discover that Ford sold almost 5.000 cars in Japan last year!!!!! Why do you doubt?????? that´s not elegant at all!!

  14. Tengil
    January 13th, 2012 at 03:17 | #15

    And, as i just read, Ford recalls now over half a million cars due to “technical problems”, that also says it all. Ford seems to be a company, that builds very unreliable cars, I think.

  15. Tengil
    January 13th, 2012 at 02:58 | #16

    I don’t see Ford in the list above, that says it all.

  16. January 13th, 2012 at 02:56 | #17

    No, not at all my friend! Ford is not Skoda or seat!!!! It´s omnipresent in Japan since 1952!! Ford sell about 5.000 examples per year there! The models sold there are: Expedition, Mustang, Explorer, Escape, Fusion, Focus, Fiesta, Mondeo, SMAX, CMAX, Ka and Kuga.

  17. Tengil
    January 13th, 2012 at 02:07 | #18

    … and the same ist true for Ford, as i predicted

  18. January 13th, 2012 at 00:22 | #19

    As I said: Skoda & Seat pulled out of the Japanese market due to poor value. Lancia sell minor numbers, only 11 in December 2011.

  1. No trackbacks yet.
You must be logged in to post a comment.