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Japan January 2018: Nissan Note #1, Mazda CX-8 and Nissan Leaf shine

The Nissan Note is the best-selling car in Japan this month. Pictures autoc-one.jp

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 35 kei cars *

* See the Top 52 All-brands and Top 30 cars by clicking on the title *

The Japanese new car market edges down 0.5% year-on-year in January to 399.540 registrations, with the two best-selling brands in negative: Toyota drops 6.5% to 26.7% share vs. 30.3% over the Full Year 2017 and Honda is down 5.2% to 14.1%, albeit slightly better than the 13.8% it held in FY2017. Below is a string of four manufacturers gaining ground on a year ago: Nissan (+0.9%), Daihatsu (+11.3%), Suzuki (+5.4%) and Mazda (+4.5%). Lexus (+59.7%) and Mitsubishi (+13.4%) post the biggest year-on-year gains in the Top 10 while Subaru (-21.7%) endures the largest drop. Mercedes (+2.5%) remains the most popular foreign carmakers but drops four spots on December to #12, followed at a distance by Volkswagen (-10.8%), BMW (-19.5%) and Audi (-8.6%). Peugeot (+89%), Aston Martin (+78.6%), Chevrolet (+54.5%), Ferrari (+51.2%), Renault (+29.6%), Bentley (+21.4%) and Jeep (+20.5%) are the most dynamic further down the ranking.

The 2nd gen Nissan Leaf has already ranked inside the Top 30 three times vs. twice for the 1st gen.

Over in the regular car aisle, the Nissan Note returns to #1 for the first time since last September and the 6th in total for this generation, starting in November 2016. This month it has a 3.180 sales-advantage over the Toyota Prius, its largest gap on the #2 so far. The Toyota Voxy (+14%), Honda Fit (+12%) and Toyota Aqua (+6%) post robust gains while the Toyota Roomy (+5%) and Tank (+6%) tandem of twins continues to impress, adding up to 12.253 sales which would place them in 2nd position overall. It’s a bad month for SUVs: all leaders in the segment fall flat in January: the Toyota C-HR (-40%), Harrier (-31%) and Honda Vezel (-43%).

First Top 30 ranking for the all-new Mazda CX-8, now the brand’s best-selling SUV.

One SUV that has started its career flamboyantly is the Mazda CX-8 breaking into the Top 30 for the first time at #25. The Toyota Land Cruiser continues to feel the effects of its facelift, up 70% to #29 while the Camry is on another planet vs. the previous model: +966% to #30. But the hero of the month is the Nissan Leaf: up 163% on the previous gen to #19, its highest ranking at home also hit last October. It is the Leaf’s fifth time ever inside the monthly Top 30, including three for this gen – October 2017 (#19), December 2017 (#27) and January 2018 (#19) and two for the first gen – February 2011 (#25) and January 2016 (#28).

Suzuki Wagon R sales are up 251% year-on-year thanks to a new generation.

In the kei cars aisle, the Honda N-BOX (+9%) remains dominant, but this month it is followed by the Nissan Dayz (+31%) and Daihatsu Tanto (-8%) while the Daihatsu Move, #2 in 2017, is down 2% to #4. The Suzuki Spacia (+33%), Wagon R (+251%) and Daihatsu Mira (+57%) are next, all posting spectacular year-on-year gains. Notice also the Daihatsu Atrai Wagon (+141%), Mazda Flair (+114%), Nissan NV100 (+51%) and Honda N-ONE (+26%) all signing very healthy increases.

Previous post (1): Japan Full Year 2017: Complete Japanese models data now available

Previous post (2): Japan Full Year 2017: Prius and N-BOX on top, C-HR wins one month

One year ago: Japan January 2017: Nissan Note leads, Toyota C-HR up to #4

Full January 2018 Top 52 All-brands, Top 30 cars and Top 35 kei cars below.

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Japan Full Year 2017: Complete Japanese models data now available

The all-new Mazda CX-8 sells over 2.000 units in four months at home.

* See the Top 120 All Japanese regular cars, Top 50 All kei car versions and Top 180 all car versions by clicking on the title *

Consult 50 years of Japan Historical Data here

As is the tradition at BSCB we can reveal today exclusive All Japanese regular cars, All kei cars by version and All cars by version rankings, making the exploration of this unique market even more interesting. Looking at Japanese regular cars, we now have a complete picture of all actors in the market, with the Subaru Levorg (-5%) and Toyota Land Cruiser (-3%) being bumped out of the Top 30 while the Daihatsu Thor, up an estimated 725% to #33 for its first full year in market and the Toyota Camry boosted up 265% by its new generation to #36 the biggest movers just below.

The Honda Civic reappears in Japan for the first time since 2011.

The Lexus LS soars 89% to #67 and the Subaru Justy – the Thor’s twin brother – is up an estimated 731% to #69. Four new nameplates make their entrance – or comeback – in the Japanese regular car ranking for 2017: the Honda Civic reappears at home for the first time since 2011 through its UK-imported hatch and R variants at #76 with over 3.000 sales since it launch in July, the Lexus LC lands at #81 with just under 2.500 units since March and the Mazda CX-8 arrives at #86 selling over 2.000 since September. Finally at #108 the Honda NSX pops up with 128 sales since February.

The Daihatsu Move Canbius crosses the 75.000 annual sales mark for its first full year.

Over in the kei cars aisle, we have an exclusive ranking by version that’s a much more precise look at exactly which formats of these Japan-specific vehicles truly are the most successful. The Honda N-BOX and Daihatsu Move in their “base” variants still win at this little game, followed by the Suzuki Wagon R and Spacia. Then the variants arrive: the Daihatsu Mira e:S (+45%) distances the Daihatsu Move Canbus (+159%) with the Nissan Dayz Roox (+35%) and Suzuki Alto Lapin (-14%) also making it into the Top 15.

Previous 2018 post: Japan Full Year 2017: Prius and N-BOX on top, Toyota C-HR wins 1 month

Previous year: Japan Full Year 2016: Now with exclusive Top 170 All local models

Two years ago: Japan Full Year 2015: Now with exclusive Top 184 All-local models

Full Year 2017 Top 120 All Japanese regular cars, Top 50 kei car versions and Top 180 All car versions vs. Full Year 2016 figures below.

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Japan Full Year 2017: Prius and N-BOX on top, Toyota C-HR wins 1 month

The Honda N-BOX is the best-selling vehicle in Japan in 2017, outselling the Toyota Prius.

* See the Top 60 All-brands, Top 30 cars, Top 40 kei cars and Top 20 foreigners by clicking on the title *

Consult 50 years worth of Japanese Historical Data here

The Japanese new car market is up a robust 5.3% in 2017 to 5.234.166 sales, with imports up 2.1% to 351.020 units, of these 306.088 being foreign nameplates (+3.7%). After Mitsubishi/Nissan in 2016, local sales have been rocked by another scandal this year: inspection irregularities affecting Nissan from October onwards and Subaru from November. Brand leader Toyota trails the market slightly with a 3.9% gain but manages to maintain itself above 30% share. The Top 11 brands are unchanged on 2016 but show a whole spectrum of /16 evolutions. Honda (+2.5%) loses share but remains #2 ahead of Suzuki (+6.9%) and Daihatsu (+7.5%) both outpacing the market. Despite the inspection scandals, Nissan (+10.6%) and Subaru (+13.5%) post the only double-digit gains in the Top 20. Mitsubishi (+6.9%) and Hino (+7.1%) improve their share whereas Mazda (+4.1%), Isuzu (-0.2%) and most strikingly Lexus (-12.6%) under-perform.

The Toyota Prius remains the #1 regular car in spite of a 35% drop. 

Mercedes (+1.2%) is once again the most popular foreign carmaker in Japan and the only one ranking inside the overall Top 10. BMW (+3.9%) and Volkswagen (+3.8%) both gain one rank to #12 and #13 respectively, both taking advantage of Lexus’ freefall. Audi (-0.6%) disappoints and goes backwards but doesn’t fall on the ladder. It is followed by Mini (+3.6%), Volvo (+8.1%) and Jeep (+7.6%). Outside the overall Top 20, Aston Martin (+72.6%), Citroen (+56.9%), Maserati (+37.9%), Chevrolet (+36.4%), Lamborghini (+24.3%), Renault (+34.3%), Ferrari (+14.3%), Peugeot (+11.3%) and Land Rover (+11%) are among the best performers. At the other end of the scale, Ford (-75.2%) which has discontinued sales in the country, Alpina (-36%), DS (-29.2%), Hyundai (-24.9%) and Chrysler (-24.7%) are the hardest hit.

The Nissan Note ends the year at a record-breaking 2nd place.

Over in the cars ranking, the Toyota Prius posts a second consecutive year in pole position and 5th annual win in total despite a steep 35% decline to just above 160.000 units. Interestingly, the Prius only topped the monthly sales charts five times this year. Boosted by a new generation and its e-Power variant, the Nissan Note is up 36% to end the year in 2nd place with just under 140.000 sales, that’s a new annual ranking record for the nameplate (previous best: #4 in 2013) but not a volume highest (147.634 in 2013). The Note ranked #1 in Japan in January, March, July and September. The Toyota Aqua retracts 22% and one spot to round up the podium, leading the way both in August and October when it took advantage of the Prius’ weakness.

In 2017 the Toyota C-HR became the first SUV top top the monthly Japanese charts.

The main event this year in the thunderous arrival of the Toyota C-HR near the top of the regular cars ranking, landing at #4 with over 115.000 sales for its first full year in market, having been launched in Japan in December 2016. The C-HR even became the very first SUV to top the local monthly sales charts – it did so in April – and is the highest-ever ranking SUV in year-end sales. However, after placing #2 in May and June and #5 in July, it then disappeared from the Top 8 for the remainder of the year… The honeymoon period is well and truly consumed and it will be interesting to see where the nameplate stabilises in 2018. Another newcomer inside the annual Top 5 is the Honda Freed, exactly doubling its sales and up 11 spot on 2016 thanks to a new generation and becoming the brand’s best-selling regular car above the Fit (-7%). The other stars of 2017 are the Toyota Roomy (#11) and Tank (#14) twin tandem, launched in late 2016 and adding up to almost 150.000 sales between the two of them, equivalent to a 2nd spot overall. Notice also the Subaru Impreza up 72% to #13, the Toyota Harrier up 42% to #16, Mazda CX-5 up 106% to #26 and Suzuki Swift up 116% to #27.

A new generation lifts the Daihatsu Move up 38% to #2 in the kei car ranking. 

The Honda N-BOX is the best-selling kei car for the third consecutive year and the 4th time in the past 5 years thanks to a facelift pulling sales up 17%. The Daihatsu Move is also boosted by a new model up 38% and two spots to #2, overtaking the Daihatsu Tanto (-9%), knocked down to #3. The Nissan Dayz is up 30% but down one rank to #4, the Suzuki Wagon R is lifted up 41% and four spots to #5 by a new generation, the Suzuki Spacia is up 29% to #6 and the Daihatsu Mira up 31% to #7. The rest of the Top 10 endures double-digit declines: -11% for the Suzuki Alto, -13% for the Honda N-WGN and -15% for the Suzuki Hustler. Further down, notice the Mazda Flair up 37% and the Honda Vamos up 33% while the Subaru Chiffon ends its first full year of sales inside the Top 20 at #19.

The Mini is the best-selling foreigner for the second year running. Picture response.jp 

In the foreign nameplates sales charts, the Mini celebrates two consecutive years in the top spot with sales up 4% year-on-year, however keep in mind this is arguably an unfair comparison set as Mini nameplate sales include all versions: Hatch, Clubman and Countryman. The VW Golf edges up 0.2% in 2nd place while the Mercedes C-Class rounds up the podium like last year but drops 7%. The Mercedes E-Class sees its sales shoot up 68% to #4, followed by the BMW 3 Series (-4%), VW Polo (-14%) and BMW 2 Series (-13%). BMW manages to place an incredible five nameplates in the Top 10 this year: along with the 1 Series at #8 (+5%), it adds the X1 (+29%) and the 5 Series, up from outside the 2016 Top 20 directly to #10. The Mercedes GLC is up 35% to #15 and the GLA breaks into the Top 20.

Previous month: Japan November 2017: Nissan, Subaru pull market into negative (-2.6%)

Previous year: Japan Full Year 2016: Toyota Prius returns to #1 spot after 3 year-hiatus

Two years ago: Japan Full Year 2015: Toyota Aqua leads, tax hike hurts kei cars

Full Year 2017 Top 60 All-brands, Top 30 cars, Top 40 kei cars and Top 20 foreigners vs. Full Year 2016 figures below.

Full December 2017 Top 55 All-brands, Top 30 cars, Top 35 kei cars and Q4 Top 20 foreigners below.

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Japan November 2017: Nissan, Subaru pull market into negative (-2.6%)

A minor facelift is enough to propel the Honda Fit back onto the podium.

* See the Top 55 All-brands, Top 30 regular cars and Top 35 kei cars by clicking on the title *

The Japanese new car market is down 2.6% year-on-year in November to 408.860 registrations, yet the year-to-date volume remains in positive territory at +5.8% to 4.839.912 units. Once again the market is handicapped by the inspection scandal affecting Nissan: the carmaker freefalls 27.4% to just 8.5% share vs. 11.4% so far this year. Without Nissan, Japan-wide sales are up 0.6%. This month Nissan is joined by Subaru (-12.8%) who has also apologised for irregular inspections happening over decades and readying its largest recall plan in the country. Meanwhile Toyota is stable on top at +0.4% to 31.2% share vs. 30.3% YTD, followed by Honda up 4.4% to 14.9%, Suzuki up 2.6% to 12.8% and Daihatsu up 1.5% to 12.7%, reproducing the YTD order. Mazda struggles this month at -19.3% despite reporting no inspection irregularities. Lexus shoots up 28.1% to land inside the overall Top 10 for the first time since April 2016, also outselling all foreign premium brands including Mercedes (#12) and BMW (#13). Below, Renault (+24.6%), Audi (+28.6%), Ferrari (+42.1%), Peugeot (+43%), Citroen (+49.6%) and Alfa Romeo (+202.7%) are among the largest gainers this month.

Lexus (+28.1%) breaks into the Top 10 brands for the first time this year.

The Toyota Roomy/Tank tandem would be #1 in market this month.

The Toyota Prius returns to the top of the regular cars sales charts for the first time since last June and the fourth time this year despite a 12% year-on-year drop. It cements its YTD lead even though its deliveries are tumbling down 37% on the same period in 2016. The Toyota Aqua (-20%) follows while the Honda Fit shoots up 46% thanks to a mid-cycle facelift to land on the podium for the first time since March 2016 and the Toyota Corolla gains 28% to hit its highest ranking in two years at #4. Both the Toyota Roomy (#6) and Tank (#9) continue to post very solid scores, adding up to over 14.000 sales this month (which would earn them and by far the #1 spot), both outselling the Toyota C-HR (#12), the carmaker’s other recent launch at home. Their twin the Daihatsu Thor even makes another appearance inside the Top 30 at #29, it ranked #30 last April, May and June. The Nissan Note (#8) is slowly recovering fathom the brand’s inspection scandal but still drops 56% year-on-year. Other great performers include the Honda StepWGN (+50%), Toyota Camry (+936%), Mazda CX-5 (+180%), Toyota Land Cruiser (+68%) and Suzuki Swift (+206%).

Toyota Land Cruiser sales are up 68% year-on-year in November.

In the kei cars ranking, the Honda N-BOX remains the uncontested leader thanks to sales surging 42% year-on-year to 20.992 and is followed like last month by the Daihatsu Move (-7%), earning the third spot year-to-date off the Nissan Dayz (+12%). The Suzuki Wagon R is up 59% to #4 but remains #5 year-to-date, the Daihatsu Mira is up 45%, the Suzuki Spacia up 16%, the Mazda Flair up 55% and the Daihatsu Atrai Wagon up 115%. Reversely, the Daihatsu Cast is down 25%, the Suzuki Hustler down 27%, the Honda N-WGN down 33% and the Daihatsu Wake down 50%.

Previous month: Japan October 2017: New Leaf can’t prevent Nissan’s freefall at -43%

One year ago: Japan November 2016: Nissan Note e-powers through to pole position

Full November 2017 Top 55 All-brands, Top 30 regular cars and Top 35 kei cars below.

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Japan October 2017: New Leaf can’t prevent Nissan’s freefall at -43%

Thanks to the new model, the Nissan Leaf breaks into its home Top 20 for the first time.

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 54 All-brands, Top 30 regular cars and Top 33 kei cars *

New car sales in Japan recede 1.7% year-on-year in October to 372.470, leading to a year-to-date total up 6.7% to 4.433.053. Regular cars are down 4.7% to 231.563 while kei cars are up 1.7% to 140.907. The market decline is solely the works of Nissan, embattled in an inspection scandal and whose sales freefall 43% to just 22.049 this month for a meagre 5.9% market share, half of its 11.7% year-to-date level. In late September, it was revealed that Nissan’s vehicles had been inspected by uncertified workers. Nissan then halted car shipments and production at all six of its Japanese assembly plants in late October after discovering that faulty quality inspections had continued at most locations in spite of the September scandal. Nissan is due to resume local production and shipment of new vehicles on November 7. Removing Nissan shows a Japanese market up 3% year-on-year in October.

The Toyota Roomy hits a record 4th place in October.

Meanwhile market leader Toyota edges up 0.6% to 32.2% share, a full two percentage points above its YTD level, Honda is up 2.6% to 15.7%, Daihatsu up 9.2% to 13.9%, Suzuki up 1.7% to 13.2%, Mazda up 8.1% to 3.8% and Subaru up 14.5% to 3.5%. In the Top 10, only Mitsubishi (-18.1%) and Isuzu (-5%) lose ground alongside Nissan. Mercedes dominates foreign carmakers at #10, up just 0.4% above BMW (+9.7%), Volkswagen (+14.9%), Audi (+2.8%), Mini (+6%) and Volvo (+25.7%). Notice also Aston Martin up 257.1%, Citroen up 148.6%, Land Rover up 84.7%, Lamborghini up 65.2%, Ferrari up 61.1%, Cadillac up 37.5% and Smart up 30.3%.

The Toyota Camry is up to its highest ranking this decade at home.

In the models ranking, the Toyota Aqua (-20%) and Prius (-29%) reclaim the top two spots, both just above 10.000 units and separated by only 17 sales. The Nissan Note, #1 in September, tumbles down 22 spots to #23, while both the Nissan Serena (#7 last month) and X-Trail (#17) step out of the Top 30. The Toyota Roomy shoots up 6 spots to #4, the Toyota Tank is up 4 to #9, both hitting their highest ever monthly rankings just under one year after their launch. More significantly, they outsell the Toyota C-HR down to #12, the nameplate’s lowest ever ranking on a full month. The Subaru Impreza is up 112% to #11, the Toyota Harrier up 63% to #14, the Mazda CX-5 up 249% to #18 and the Suzuki Swift up 83% to #24, all thanks to new generations.

Honda N-BOX Custom

The two best performances of the month are delivered by 1. The new gen Nissan Leaf up 7-fold on the previous model a year ago to land at #19 with 3.629 sales, a new record for the nameplate and its third ever Top 30 ranking at home after February 2011 (#25) and January 2016 (#28). 2. The new gen Toyota Camry is up 11-fold year-on-year to #22, its fourth consecutive Top 30 ranking and the nameplate’s highest spot this decade. Over in the kei cars aisle, the Honda N-BOX is helped by its facelift up 53% to 21.233 sales, comfortably distancing the Daihatsu Move (+12%) and Tanto (+1%) while the Suzuki WagonR (+48%) and Daihatsu Mira (+46%) both post spectacular gains. The Nissan Dayz is hit at -37% to #8 from #2 in September and loses its YTD 2nd place to the Daihatsu Tanto.

Previous month: Japan September 2017: Nissan Note, Honda Freed shine, market up 3.9%

One year ago: Japan October 2016: Nissan Serena shoots up to #3 as market nudges down

Full October 2017 Top 54 All-brands, Top 30 regular cars and Top 33 kei cars below.

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Japan September 2017: Nissan Note, Honda Freed shine; market up 3.9%

The Nissan Note is the best-selling car in Japan in September. 

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 52 brands, Top 30 cars, Top 35 kei cars and Top 20 imports *

New light vehicle sales in Japan are up 3.9% year-on-year in September to 495.189 units, with the year-to-date total now up 7.5% to 4.060.584 deliveries after nine months. Leader Toyota goes against the grain with a 6.9% year-on-year drop to 27.1% share vs. a round 30% year-to-date, but the next 6 brands all outpace the market: Honda (+8.4%), Suzuki (+5.1%), Nissan (+27.8%), Daihatsu (+6.8%), Mazda (+7.6%), Subaru (+13.5%) and Mitsubishi (+49.1%). Mercedes (+2%) remains the most popular foreign brand, breaking into the Top 10 at #10 overall, ahead of BMW (-0.3%), Volkswagen (+7.2%) and Audi (-5%). Further down, notice Abarth (+23.8%), Land Rover (+28%), Alfa Romeo (+30.4%), Maserati (+55.8%) and Citroen (+83%) all post spectacular gains.

The Honda Freed is up 212% year-on-year to #4 in the cars ranking.

In the cars ranking, the Nissan Note is back up two spots on August to snap the pole position for the 5th time in the past 11 months, posting its largest monthly volume since last March. The Toyota Prius, imploding down 34% at #2, remains however #1 year-to-date, and this despite sales down 39%. #1 last month, the Toyota Aqua is down 17% to #3, now also ranking #3 year-to-date as it passes the Toyota C-HR, #9 in September. The Honda Freed, up 3-fold on September 2016, manages to rank #4 for the third time since the new generation launched last October. The Toyota Roomy is down two ranks to #10 just as the Toyota Tank is up one to #13. Notice also the Mazda CX-5 up 158% to #22, its highest ranking since last March, the Suzuki Swift up 185% to #27 and the Toyota Camry up 666% to #30.

The facelifted Honda N-BOX is the best-selling vehicle in Japan this month. Picture autos-one.jp 

In the kei cars charts, thanks to its facelift Honda N-ONE spectacularly reclaims the top spot with sales up 168% on August to 26.983, making it and by far the best-selling nameplate in Japan. This score cements the N-ONE’s YTD pole position with 2017 sales now up 11%. The Nissan Dayz steps up to 2nd place with deliveries up 39% year-on-year with it earns the 2nd place YTD also (+47%), overtaking the Daihatsu Move (+62%). The Suzuki Wagon R is up 87% to #4, the Daihatsu Mira up 46% to #7, the Mitsubishi eK up 28% to #11, the Mazda Flair up 65% to #18 and the Subaru Pleo up 64% to #20. The sole newcomer of the past 12 months in the segment, the Subaru Chiffon, continues to struggle at a low 25th place.

The Mini is the most popular foreign nameplate in Japan over the third quarter of 2017. 

Among foreign nameplates over the third quarter of 2017, the Mini remains in the lead with sales up 2% year-on-year, ahead of the VW Golf (-1%), Mercedes C-Class (-3%), Mercedes E-Class (+12%) and BMW 3 Series (-6%), reproducing the Q2 Top 5. In fact from #5 to #8 are all BMWs: the 2 Series, 1 Series and 5 Series follow, the latter up from #13 in Q2. The VW Polo falls a harsh 38% to #10, the Mercedes GLC is up a further two spots to #14 and both the Mercedes GLA (#16) and Fiat 500 (#20) are back inside the Top 20.

Previous month: Japan August 2017: Aqua back on top, C-HR falls in market up 5.5%

One year ago: Japan September 2016: Toyota and Honda stay positive, market down 0.5%

Full September 2017 Top 52 brands, Top 30 cars, Top 35 kei cars and Q3 Top 20 imports below.

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Japan August 2017: Aqua back on top, C-HR falls in market up 5.5%

The facelifted Toyota Aqua takes the lead of the regular car charts in August. Picture autos-one.jp 

* See the Top 53 All-brands, Top 30 models and Top 35 kei cars by clicking on the title *

Now updated with kei cars models data

The Japanese new car market is up 5.5% year-on-year in August to 355.308 registrations, lifting the year-to-date tally up 8.1% to 3.565.396. Market leader Toyota goes against the grain with a 2.7% decline but remains at a strong 30.2% share vs. 30.4% year-to-date. Honda (+3.2%) and Suzuki (+5.8%) round up the podium like in the YTD ranking but below, Daihatsu (+13.2%) and Nissan (+19.9%) more than double the market growth, catching up on weak kei car sales a year ago. In the Top 10, Subaru (+12.9%), Isuzu (+17.9%), Mitsubishi (+18.5%) and Hino (+68.1%) also frankly outpace the market. Reversely, Lexus tumbles down 31%. Mercedes (+0.4%) remains the most popular foreign carmaker at #11 overall, distancing BMW (+12.2%), Volkswagen (+5.6%) and Audi (+15.4%). Volvo (+18.6%), Abarth (+22.5%), Renault (+34.4%), Land Rover (+35.7%) and Hyundai (+10%) also shine.

The Toyota Roomy is up to #8 in August. 

In the models ranking, the Toyota Aqua, freshly facelifted, is back in the top spot thanks to a limited 3% year-on-year decline to be compared to -40% for the Toyota Prius. It is the first time since November 2015 that the Aqua tops the regular car sales charts in Japan. The Nissan Note falls back down to #3 despite a 73% year-on-year surge, distancing the Honda Fit (+10%) and Toyota Voxy (+3%). The Honda Freed is up 11-fold on August 2016 thanks to a new model, while the Toyota Roomy is the most popular new launch (<12 months) for the first time in 2017, ranking at a best-ever #8, also hit last April and December. It surprisingly outsells the Toyota C-HR, tumbling down 6 spots on last month to a paltry #11 while the Toyota Tank remains at #14. The C-HR fall is worrying for Toyota as the brand’s new crossover had started with a bang earlier in the year, snapping the overall pole position in April… Notice also the Subaru Impreza up 64%, the Toyota Harrier up 44%, Toyota Camry up 628% and the Mazda CX-5 up 104%.

The Daihatsu Move is the best-selling kei car in Japan in August. 

Over in the kei car aisle, the Daihatsu Move surges 112% year-on-year and 5 spots on July to land in pole position with 10.364 sales, meaning that for once the Toyota Aqua – a regular car – is the best-selling vehicle in the country. It is however the first time since July 2013 that the Daihatsu Move is the best-selling kei car in Japan. The Honda N-BOX, down 24% to #2, remains by far the best-selling kei car year-to-date at 130.812 units. The Nissan Dayz is up 33%, the Suzuki WagonR up 60%, the Daihatsu Mira up 69%, Toyota Pixis up 41%, Mazda Flair up 77% and the Subaru Pleo up 50%.

Previous month: Japan July 2017: Nissan Note reclaims top spot, Toyota C-HR down

One year ago: Japan August 2016: Toyota (+16%) outpaces market back in positive

Full August 2017 Top 53 All-brands, Top 30 models and Top 35 kei cars below.

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Japan July 2017: Nissan Note reclaims top spot, Toyota C-HR down

The Nissan Note is the best-selling regular car in Japan in July.

* See the Top 52 All-brands, Top 30 cars and Top 35 kei cars by clicking on the title *

The Japanese new car market is up 2.9% year-on-year in July to 427.527 registrations, leading to a year-to-date tally up 8.3% to 3.210.088 units. Market leader Toyota drops a worrying 9.2% year-on-year but hits a strong 31.1% share vs. 30.4% year-to-date. Honda (+3.4%) remains in 2nd place while Suzuki (+7.9%) overtakes Daihatsu (+12.1%) to return to the third place it holds year-to-date. Nissan remains 5th in spots of a splendid 27.8% gain, while Subaru (+19.3%), Mitsubishi (+11.2%) and Hino (+15.6%) all post double-digit gains in the Top 10. Struggling Japanese brands include Lexus (-31.4%) and UD Trucks (-16.7%). Mercedes (+0.7%) continues to lead foreign brands followed by BMW (+0.4%), Volkswagen (-16.1%) and Audi (-3.2%). Renault (+88.5%), Citroen (+106.9%) and Maserati (+66.7%) shine among foreigners.

The Honda Fit is boosted up 24% to #4 by its refresh. 

In the regular cars ranking, the Nissan Note (+28%) reclaims the top spot for the first time since last March and only the third time this year, edging past the Toyota Prius (-57%) and Aqua (-24%) both only 400 sales below. Boosted by a recent refresh, the Honda Fit bounces back up 24% and four spots on June to #4, posting its largest monthly volume in over two years. After five consecutive months of five-digit volumes, the Toyota C-HR slumps to 8.069 sales as the honeymoon period ends with novelty-thirsty consumers. It will be interesting to see where the C-HR stabilises, given its main competitor the Honda Vezel is down 19% to just above 5.000 sales this month. The Subaru Impreza (+125%) continues to benefit from the new model, hitting a splendid 7th place, while the Toyota Roomy (#13) and Tank (#14) have stabilised at higher levels than expected. The new generation Toyota Camry makes a rare appearance in the Top 30 at #26 (+644%) and we also welcome back the Mazda CX-3 at #30.

The valiant Honda N-BOX is the best-selling vehicle in Japan in July.

In the kei car aisle, the Honda N-BOX (+11%) remains on top, even managing to snap the title of best-selling vehicle in the country in July thanks to 14.503 units. It distances the Nissan Dayz (+61%), Daihatsu Tanto (-8%) and Daihatsu Mira (+95%) boosted by its facelift. The Suzuki Wagon R (+52%), Daihatsu Move (+37%) and Suzuki Spacia (+21%) also shine while the Subaru Chiffon, the only new nameplate in the past 12 months, is stuck in 20th place.

Previous post: Japan First Half 2017: Toyota C-HR storms into third place, Prius #1

Previous month: Japan June 2017: Toyota Prius, C-HR, Vitze lead in market up 13.4%

One year ago: Japan July 2016: Toyota up to 35.2% share, Nissan Dayz and Mitsubishi eK back

Full July 2017 Top 52 All-brands, Top 30 cars and Top 35 kei cars below.

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Japan First Half 2017: Toyota C-HR storms into third place, Prius #1

The Toyota C-HR is the first SUV to lead the monthly sales charts in Japan (in April).

* See the Top 60 All-brands, Top 30 cars, Top 35 kei cars and Top 20 foreigners by clicking on the title *

Now updated with kei car data

Japanese new car sales are up a very robust 9.2% or 235.000 sales over the First Half of 2017 to 2.782.542 units. Toyota outpaces its home market with a 11.4% gain to break through the 30% market share barrier at 30.3%. The podium is unchanged on a year ago with Honda in 2nd place (+1.7%) but losing one percentage point of market share at 13,5% while Suzuki is close to the market at +8.5% to 12.9% share. Nissan benefits from a low base in 2016 when some of its kei cars were handicapped by stop-sales, as well as the success of the Note to gain 22.9% and overtake Daihatsu (+7.6%). Subaru posts the second highest gain in the Top 10 at +20.9%. Mercedes (+1.4%), Volkswagen (+2.1%), BMW (+3.2%), Audi (-4.8%) and Mini (+5.6%) dominate foreign manufacturer but all lose market share.  Jeep (+14.3%), Jaguar (+23.1%), Abarth (+49.1%), Maserati (+49.2%), Citroen (+51.3%) and Renault (+65.3%) all shine.

The Nissan Note leaps up to 2nd place in the regular cars ranking.

Recently threatened by the new Nissan Note (#1 in November 2016, January and March 2017), the Toyota Prius manages to hold onto its pole position in the regular car ranking despite a harsh 36% decline, slipping well under the 100.000 unit-mark at 91.246. The Note for its part is up a whopping 63% on the same period in 2016 to land in 2nd place. But the main event of this First Half of 2017 in Japan is the explosive start of the Toyota C-HR, setting new benchmarks for SUVs in Japan. Toyota’s urban crossover is the first SUV to take the lead of the monthly sales charts in Japan: it did so in April. Even though it has since receded to 2nd place (both in May and June), the C-HR ends H1 2017 in third place of the regular car sales charts with just under 80.000 units, an incredible achievement.

The Toyota Roomy makes its way to #12 in Japan halfway through 2017.

The Toyota Aqua (-28%) is bumped down from #2 to #4 while the Honda Freed is boosted up 3-fold by a new generation to brilliantly round out the Top 5, becoming the brand’s best-selling regular car. The Nissan Serena is up 54% and four spots to #6, the Toyota Vitz up 40% to #8 and the Subaru Impreza almost doubles its sales compared to the same period a year ago, jumping from #19 to #11. Along the C-HR, there are two additional new nameplates making their entrance inside the Japanese Top 15 so far in 2017: the twins Toyota Roomy (#12) and Toyota Tank (#15) both exceeding the manufacturer’s expectations. Notice also the Toyota Harrier up 57%, the Mazda CX-5 up 77%, Mazda Axela up 53% and the Suzuki Swift up 106%, all due to facelifts.

Daihatsu Move sales are boosted up 74% by a new model.

The Honda N-BOX remains the king of kei cars with a 11% surge to over 106.000 sales, increasing its advantage over the Daihatsu Tanto (-10%) to over 25.000 units. Annihilated by stop-sales last year, the Nissan Dayz shoots up 49% to the third step of the podium, but the most spectacular evolution is the works of the Daihatsu Move up 74% and 5 spots on the same period last year thanks to a new model. The Suzuki Spacia (+37%) and Wagon R (+26%) also benefit from new models and gain significant ground in the kei car sales charts. Relaunched in May, the Daihatsu Mira is up 13% and two spots to #8. The only all-new nameplate to enter the kei car market over the period is the very discreet Subaru Chiffon stuck in 19th place.

The Mini remains above the VW Golf in the foreigner charts. 

The Mini managed to end 13 years of VW Golf domination in 2016 and confirms it is the new foreign favourite in the country with sales up 7% year-on-year to just under 12.500. Note this figure includes all Mini variants (Countryman, Clubman and Hatch) and arguably isn’t a fair comparison set. The VW Golf (-7%) and Mercedes C-Class (-6%) complete the podium while the Mercedes E-Class is up 3-fold and 13 spots to #4 thanks to the new model. Other strong performers include the BMW 1-Series (+12%), X1 (+38%) and Audi A4 (+18%). The VW Beetle reappears inside the Top 20 at #18.

Previous post: Japan June 2017: Toyota Prius, C-HR, Vitz lead in market up 13.4%

One year ago: Japan First Half 2016: Japan victim of fuel economy scandal

Full H1 2017 Top 60 All-brands, Top 30 cars, Top 35 kei cars and Top 20 foreigners below.

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Japan June 2017: Toyota Prius, C-HR, Vitz lead in market up 13.4%

The Toyota Vitz is boosted up 80% to #3 by its facelift. Picture autoc-one.jp

* See the Top 53 All-brands, Top 30 cars, Top 35 kei cars and Top 20 foreigners by clicking on the title *

Now updated with kei car data

Another excellent result for the Japanese new car market, up 13.4% year-on-year in June to 477.470 registrations, lifting the half-year tally up 9.2% to 2.782.542 units. Market leader Toyota trails the market but still posts a solid 11.8% year-on-year gain to 32.4% market share. It distances Honda (stable), with Daihatsu soaring 17% in third place and Suzuki up just 9% to #4. Handicapped a year ago by stop-sales on their kei cars, Nissan (+46.1%), Mazda (+20%) and Mitsubishi (+117.8%) catch up on lost time. Inside the Top 10, Subaru (+39.6%) is by far the best performer in normal conditions. Mercedes (+3.5%) dominates foreign carmakers at #9 overall, ahead of BMW (+5.6%), Volkswagen (+2.2%) and Audi (-8.6%). Renault (+46.9%), Smart (+26.3%), Citroen (+83.1%) and Maserati (+71.7%) post some of the largest gains whereas Lexus struggles at -34%.

The new Subaru Impreza continues to climb the ranking: it is now #8. 

In the “traditional” cars ranking, the Toyota Prius confirms it has reclaimed the lead of its home market by posting a third pole position this year, despite sales freefalling 38% on June 2016. The Toyota C-HR confirms it is an instant blockbuster with another stunning score in 2nd place, while the Toyota Vitz benefits from its facelift to jump 80% year-on-year to #3. The Nissan Note still progresses vs. a year ago (+46%) but is falling further from the top spot each month. The Honda Freed (+278%) and Subaru Impreza (+190%) are both boosted by new models, as are the Toyota Harrier (+92%), Suzuki Swift (+113%) and Mazda CX-5 (+89%). The Daihatsu Thor manages to remain inside the Top 30 at #30. Among kei cars, the Honda N-BOX (+13%) remains in the lead above two surging nameplates: the Daihatsu Mira (+83%) and Move (+79%) while the Daihatsu Tanto is down 8% to #4. Notice also the Suzuki Wagon R up 38% and the Suzuki Spacia up 39%.

Its facelift propels Toyota Harrier sales up 92% in June.

In the foreigners aisle, the Mini reclaims the top spot off the VW Golf with a significant 1.100 unit-margin, earning the YTD top spot as well as we’ll detail in a separate update. The Mercedes C-Class remains in third place despite a 19% fall and is now teased by its larger stablemate the Mercedes E-Class up 6-fold year-on-year thanks to the new model. The BMW 3 Series also gains one spot to #5 thanks to deliveries up 20%. The BMW X1 (+55%), BMW 5 Series (+56%) and Mercedes GLC (+24%) also impress while the VW Up makes a return inside the Top 20 at #17.

Previous month: Japan May 2017: Toyota Prius back to top spot, C-HR #2

One year ago: Japan June 2016: Nissan, Mazda & Mitsubishi pull market down

Full June 2017 Top 53 All-brands, Top 30 cars, Top 35 kei cars and Q2 2017 Top 20 foreigners below.

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