Japan Kei cars October 2012: Mazda Flair and Honda N-One land
* See the Top 25 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *
While sales of regular vehicles were down 9% year-on-year in October, Kei cars are actually up 0.5% to 133,790 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 1,705,405 units, up 36% on 2011. This comes at a time when the very existence of Kei cars could be in jeopardy: the Japanese government is now thinking of charging the same tax for regular cars and mini vehicles alike, which would likely mean the demise of the Kei cars.
After being passed by the Suzuki Wagon R for the first time last month, the Honda NBOX reclaims the pole position it has now held for 6 of the last 7 months with 18,203 sales. It still ranks #2 year-to-date though at 181,103 units, below the Daihatsu Mira, down 31% year-on-year at #3 in October, with 189,888 sales. If the NBOX maintains the same margin over the Mira for the last 2 months of the year it could still finish 2012 in first place. The Suzuki Wagon R meanwhile, is now certain to lose the title of most popular Kei car in Japan at year-end it had held each year from 2003 up until 2011...
We welcome no less than two all-new models in the ranking this month: the Suzuki Flair, a rebadged version of the Suzuki Wagon R, lands directly in 17th place with 866 sales: that's already better than the Mazda Flair Wagon launched a couple of months ago and #21 at 538 units this month. The other newcomer is much more discreet in numbers (just 13 sales so far) but very flashy in style and it's the Honda N-One, already declined in a souped up Mugen version pictured above...
Previous month: Japan Kei cars September 2012: Suzuki Wagon R back to #1
One year ago: Japan Kei cars October 2011: Daihatsu Mira takes off
Full October 2012 Top 25 Ranking Table below.