Japan April 2017: Toyota C-HR climbs to pole position

The Toyota C-HR is the best-selling car in Japan in April. 

* See the Top 55 brands and Top 30 best-selling cars by clicking on the title *

The Japanese new light vehicle market is up by a vigorous 9.2% year-on-year in April to 354.750 units, lifting the year-to-date tally up 7.7% to 1.932.499. The Top 3 best-selling marques trail the market growth with Toyota up just 1.8%, Suzuki up 6.4% and Honda up 7.1%. Daihatsu (+23.7%) and Nissan (+43.3%) on the other hand post spectacular gains, as do Subaru (+15.6%) and Mitsubishi (+34.2%) further down the Top 10, the latter recovering from year-ago scores impacted by the fuel economy scandal. Mercedes tops foreign brands but gains just 1.1%, distancing BMW (+2.9%), Volkswagen (+2.7%), Mini (+11.5%) and Audi tumbling down 18%. Finally, notice Renault (+179.7%) and Citroen (+140.5%), the most dynamic mainstream brands.

Honda Freed sales are up 289% year-on-year in April. 

The car model ranking is the theatre of a very rare event: a new nameplate in pole position. Toyota’s C-HR manages to brilliantly take the lead this month with 13.168 sales, some 33% ahead of the 2nd ranking car, the Toyota Prius, down a devastating 52%. This is the first time Toyota places an SUV in the first place at home and Japan is the 2nd country to crown the C-HR after Ireland did so for the last two months of 2016. In third place we find the Nissan Note up 67% and still in the year-to-date lead, followed by the Honda Freed up a spectacular 289% thanks to the new generation. Launched at the end of 2016, the Toyota Roomy (#8) and Tank (#11) step up this month, gaining 7 and 5 ranks on March respectively. The Suzuki Solio (+34%), Subaru Impreza (+53%), Toyota Alphard (+74%) and Mazda CX-5 (+75%) post the largest year-on-year gains in the Top 30 just as the Daihatsu Thor makes its first appearance among the country’s 30 best-sellers at #30.

Previous month: Japan March 2017: Nissan Note reclaims top spot

One year ago: Japan April 2016: Mitsubishi scandal reshapes local auto industry

Full April 2017 Top 55 brands and Top 30 cars below.

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Japan March 2017: Nissan Note reclaims top spot

The Nissan Note is the best-selling regular car in March. Picture autos-one.jp

* See the Top 55 All-brands, Top 30 regular cars, Top 35 kei cars and Top 20 foreign models by clicking on the title *

Another very dynamic month for the Japanese new vehicle market: up 8.7% year-on-year in March to 691.375 registrations, lifting the year-to-date tally up 7.3% to 1.577.750. March is the last month of the Japanese financial year so manufacturers traditionally load up on sales. Market leader Toyota beats the market at +10.8% to just under 200.000 sales, that’s more than double any manufacturer in the country. Honda follows but drops 2.4% while Isuzu (+17.6%), Nissan (+19.6%), Subaru (+23.4%), Mazda (+28.3%) and Hino (+30.8%) all post double-digit gains inside the Top 10. Further down, notice Porsche (+62.2%), Renault (+67.9%), Lamborghini (+107.5%) and Abarth (+141.6%) all lodging spectacular year-on-year improvements.

The Mazda CX-5 is up to #12 in Japan this month. 

In the regular car ranking, the surprise is the pole position of the Nissan Note (+78%), overtaking the Toyota Prius to rank #1 for the third time in the past five month after last November and January. The Prius tumbles down 29% in 2nd place ahead of the Toyota Aqua (-24%) while the Toyota C-HR drops one spot on February to #4 but lodges a volume record at 16.816 units. The Honda Freed is up 219% to #5 thanks to the new model, the Nissan Serena gains 93% to #6, the Subaru Impreza is up 123% to #11 and the Mazda CX-5 takes advantage of its facelift to gain 223% and rank at #12. The newly launched Toyota Roomy (#15) and Tank (#16) both stabilise within the Top 20, with the Suzuki Swift more than doubling its sales year-on-year (+109%) thanks to the new generation.

The BMW 5 Series is back among the Top 20 foreign models in Japan over Q1 2017.

The Honda N-BOX remains the best-selling kei car in the country and with 26.124 it is also the best-selling vehicle in Japan this month. It distances the Daihatsu Tanto (-11%) and Nissan Dayz (-2%) while just below, the Daihatsu Move (+50%) and Suzuki Spacia (+89%) are the biggest gainers in the kei car world this month. Launched last December, the Subaru Chiffon is struggling to make its mark at #16. Looking at the best-selling foreign nameplates over the First Quarter of 2017, despite a 6% drop the VW Golf reclaims the top spot off the Mini (all variants are counted together) for just 27 units with the Mercedes C-Class up 6% to remain in third place. Below, the VW Polo (+23%), Mercedes E-Class (+92%), Audi A3 (+27%), BMW X1 (+25%) and Audi A4 (+40%) shine while the BMW 5 Series is back inside the Top 50 thanks to the new model at #14.

Previous month: Japan February 2017: Toyota Prius leads, CH-R climbs onto podium

One year ago: Japan March 2016: Kei cars pull market down 9%, Toyota Prius reigns

Full March 2017 Top 55 All-brands, Top 30 regular cars, Top 35 kei cars and Q1 2017 Top 20 foreign models below.

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Japan February 2017: Toyota Prius leads, C-HR climbs onto podium

The Toyota C-HR is the third best-selling car in Japan in February. 

* See the Top 55 All-brands, Top 30 regular cars and Top 33 kei cars by clicking on the title *

The Japanese new vehicle market has started 2017 in a very healthy way: up another 7.4% in February to 484.725 registrations which leads to a year-to-date tally up 6.3% to 886.375. Boosted by the tremendous success of the C-HR (see further down), Toyota takes off at +29.2% to 147.739 units and 30.5% share, while below Honda (-3.3%) and Nissan (+4.4%) fail to match the market growth. Suzuki is up 10.3% thanks to a new Wagon R as detailed further down, Subaru is up 10.2% thanks to the success of the new Impreza and Isuzu is up 15.7%.

Abarth sales are up 51.2% year-on-year in Japan in February. 

Mercedes (+0.6%) remains the most popular foreign brand at #11 ahead of Volkswagen (+2.2%), BMW (+5.1%), Audi (+1%) and Mini (+10.7%). The largest year-on-year gainers in market this month include Land Rover (+12.1%), Jaguar (+19.7%), Citroen (+23.9%), Porsche (+27.4%), Renault (+33.3%), Maserati (+45.3%) and Abarth (+51.2%) thanks to the new 124 Spider pictured above.

The Toyota Roomy confirms it is a blockbuster at home (#11). 

After dropping to a paltry third place in January, the Toyota Prius is back on top of the Japanese regular car sales charts in February in spite of dropping 16% year-on-year to 15.958. The Nissan Note lurks not far behind at 14.850 (+52%) and holds onto the year-to-date pole position at 28.972 vs. 25.841 for the Prius. But the big news this month is the arrival of the Toyota C-HR onto its home podium for its second full month in market thanks to a stunning 12.985 sales. This is to be compared with the 6.293 sales of its direct rival the Honda Vezel all the while the Mazda CX-3, #24 a year ago in February 2016, has now disappeared from the monthly Top 30 best-sellers. The prospect of the C-HR taking the lead of the Japanese market within a matter of month is now possible.

The Mazda CX-5 is back among Japan’s 30 best-sellers thanks to its facelift.

Below, the Toyota Aqua regains three spots on January to #4 but loses 19%, distancing a series of five nameplates all posting double-digit gains: the Nissan Serena (+67%), Honda Freed (+214%), Toyota Sienta (+22%), Toyota Vitz (+53%) and Voxy (+10%). The Toyota Roomy (#11) and Tank (#15) confirm their blockbuster status. Great performers outside the Top 10 include the Subaru Impreza (+58%), Toyota Harrier (+78%), Vellfire (+70%), Passo (+46%), Suzuki Swift (+109%) and Toyota Alphard (+42%). The Mazda CX-5 returns to the Top 30 after almost a year of absence thank to its facelift now hitting Japanese dealerships.

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

In the kei car ranking, the Honda N-BOX gains 9% to cement its donation, and with 19.429 sales this month the N-BOX is in effect the best-selling vehicle in the country. The Nissan Dayz drops 2% year-on-year but gains two spots on January to #2, distancing the Daihatsu Tanto (-16%). The Suzuki Wagon R surges 63% year-on-year to 12.585 sales and 8 ranks on last month to #4 thanks to an entirely new lineup launched this month (pictured below). Just below the Wagon R, the Daihatsu Move (+40%) and Suzuki Spacia (+45%) deliver the 2nd and 3rd largest year-on-year gains in the entire kei car market. Notice finally the Subaru Chiffon nudging up one spot to #18.

The all-new Suzuki Wagon R lineup

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

Previous month: Japan January 2017: Nissan Note leads, Toyota C-HR up to #4

One year ago: Japan February 2016: Toyota Prius stays put in market down 6%

Full February 2017 Top 55 All-brands, Top 30 regular cars and Top 33 kei cars below.

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

Daihatsu Move Canbus

* See the Top 170 All-local models by clicking on the title *

As is the tradition at BSCB we can reveal today an exclusive All-local models ranking by variant for Japan, making the exploration of this unique market even more interesting. This year the Toyota Prius wins at this game with 221.000 sales (+193%) vs. #14 last year, and this despite the removal of Prius Alpha sales. #42 at -48%. The Honda N-BOX overtakes the Toyota Aqua to rank #2, followed by the Daihatsu Tanto, Toyota Sienta and Honda Fit.

Lexus RX

This ranking also unveils the lesser-selling “regular” cars outside of the familiar Top 30 published monthly. We then discover which nameplates just missed out on a Top 30 regular ranking in 2016, namely the Toyota Estima, Mazda CX-5, Toyota Spade and Mazda CX-3. A couple of Lexus nameplates have a fantastic year: the RX is up 5-fold to #53 and the GS is up 106% to #93. Notice also the Toyota Auris up 93%, the Nissan Leaf up 63%, Mitsubishi Delica D:2 up 89% and Toyota Pixis Mega up 150%.

 Suzuki Ignis

The best-selling 2016 launch is the kei-car Daihatsu Move Canbus landing directly at #40 with just under 30.000 sales, followed by the Suzuki Ignis at #43, Suzuki Baleno at #108, Toyota Pixis Joy at #135 and Subaru Chiffon at #158. Finally, the Toyota Mirai is up 131% to #148.

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

One year ago:  Japan Full Year 2015: Now with exclusive Top 184 All-local models

Full Year 2016 Top 170 All-local models vs. Full 2015 figures below.

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

The Toyota C-HR is up to #4 at home in January. 

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 55 All-brands, Top 30 regular cars and Top 33 kei cars *

The Japanese new car market starts 2017 on a positive note with a 4.9% year-on-year gain to 401.650 registrations. Market leader Toyota edges past the market growth at +5.3% to 28.7% share, a full two percentage points below its FY2016 level. In contrast, Honda frankly outpaces the market at +16.2% to 15% share, as does Nissan up 10.6% to 14% share, followed by Suzuki up 5.9% and Daihatsu down 0.1%. Beyond the Big Five, Lexus (-14.8%), Mazda (-19.2%) and Mitsubishi (-21%) struggle whereas Subaru (+11.7%), Hino (+12%) and Isuzu (+12.7%) impress.

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

Mercedes (+1%) remains the most popular foreign carmaker but this month the German brand stays outside the overall Top 10 at #11, ahead of Volkswagen (+4.7%), BMW (-4.6%), Audi (+7.6%) and Mini (-1.3%). A handful of other foreign manufacturers also register double-digit year-on-year gains in January in Japan: Volvo (+20.6%), Jeep (+26.1%), Renault (+41.4%), Maserati (+57.6%), Lamborghini (+64.7%), DS (+65.4%), Citroen (+70%), Abarth (+119.5%), Rolls Royce (+145.5%) and McLaren (+175%) are among them. At the other end of the scale, Cadillac (-58.7%) and Ford (-79.1%) implode.

The Nissan Serena shoots up to 2nd place overall. The new generation boosts the Subaru Impreza up 60% to #11.

The models ranking is suddenly and completely reshuffled in January. Boosted by the new generation and its e-Power variant, the Nissan Note reclaims the top spot it held in November with an imposing 14.113 sales (+69%). Nissan even manages a historical 1-2 with the Serena up 95% to 11.179 units in 2nd place. Leader over the FY2016, the Toyota Prius freefalls 53% year-on-year and is knocked down to #3, its lowest ranking since November 2015.

The Suzuki Swift gets a 77% lift from its new gen in January.

But the big news is the arrival in 4th place for its 2nd month in market of the Toyota C-HR at 9.144 sales vs. 6.013 for its rival the Honda Vezel (+8%). The C-HR could be positioning itself as a serious contender for the 2016 pole position at home. Also launched late last year, the Toyota Roomy (#9) and Tank (#13) post very solid scores again. Other great performers in January include the Honda Freed up 3-fold on its January 2016 score to #6, the new gen Subaru Impreza – Car of the Year 2016-2017 in Japan – up 60% on the previous one to #11, the Toyota Harrier up 55% to #15, Suzuki Swift up 77% to #21 and Mazda Axela up 63% to #25. In the kei cars ranking, the Honda N-BOCX (+28%) keeps the lead by far, followed by the Daihatsu Tanto (-13%), Move (+63%) and Nissan Dayz (-14%).

Volvo sales are up 20.6% year-on-year in Japan in January.

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

One year ago: Japan January 2016: New gen Toyota Prius cements new leadership

Full January 2017 Top 55 All-brands, Top 30 cars and Top 33 kei cars below.

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

Toyota Prius Japan 2016. Picture courtesy autoc-one.jpThe Toyota Prius is the best-selling nameplate in Japan in 2016. 

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 60 All-brands, Top 30 cars, Top 35 kei cars & Top 20 foreigners *

Check out 47 years worth of Japanese Historical Data here

After a harsh 9% decline in 2015, the Japanese new light vehicle market slows down its decline in 2016 at just -1.5% to 4.970.260 units, with kei cars still impacted by the tax hike from last year (down 9% to 1.725.400) and imports up 4.6% to 343.673. Toyota remains master in command of course, even going agains the grain with a 5.5% increase to 1.53m units and a two percentage point gain in market share to 30.7%. Toyota distances seven brands all in decline in a Top 10 unchanged on last year. Honda (-2.7%), Suzuki (-2.1%), Daihatsu (-3.8%) and Subaru (-4%) keep their drop close to the market evolution.

Smart Forfour Japan 2016. Picture courtesy autoc-one.jpThe new Fortwo and Forfour sends Smart sales rocketing up 345.5% in Japan in 2016. 

Reversely, Nissan (-9.3%), Mitsubishi (-16%) handicapped by the fuel economy scandal that led to its purchase by Nissan and Mazda (-17.9%) post worrying declines. Closing out the Top 10 are Isuzu (+8.6%) and Mercedes (+3.4%), the only foreign manufacturer among Japan’s ten favourite brands. Fiat (+11.4%), Mini (+16.4%), Bentley (+17.3%), Peugeot (+25.3%), Jeep (+31.7%), Abarth (+52.2%), Jaguar (+113.7%), Smart (+345.5%) post some of the most spectacular gains among foreign carmakers.

Toyota Sienta Japan 2016. Picture courtesy yahoo.jpThe Toyota Sienta ranks on the 2016 podium in the regular cars ranking.

In the regular models ranking, as we predicted a year ago the Toyota Prius returns to the Japanese pole position thanks to the new generation of the model giving it a welcome 95% boost to just under 250.000 sales, its best annual score since 2013. This ends three consecutive years of domination by the Toyota Aqua, starting to feel its age at -22%. The Toyota Sienta confirms an explosive relaunch in 2015 with a third place overall this year, up 97% and knocking the Honda Fit (-12%) out of the podium. A new generation (with an e-power variant) launched at the end of the year enables the Nissan Note to gain 4% to remain in 5th place overall. It distances the Toyota Voxy (-1%) and Corolla (-22%).

Toyota Roomy Japan 2016. Picture courtesy response.jp Keep an eye for the Toyota Roomy in the 2017 annual Top 10…

The Honda Vezel hasn’t yet exhausted its sales potential and turns around a 26% drop in 2015 into a 4% gain this year to #8 overall. One late 2016 launch will challenge this in 2017: the Toyota C-HR, making its first appearance in its home Top 15 in December at #15 with 4.654 sales, just below… the Vezel (4.907). The Nissan Serena (+19%), Toyota Passo (+55%), Honda Freed (+27%), Suzuki Solio (+27%), Honda Odyssey (+95%) and Subaru Forester (+40%) are all boosted by new generations or facelifts, while the Honda Shuttle gains 21% to end its first full year of sales inside the Top 20. Two twin November launches make a big splash already: the Toyota Roomy ranks #8 in December with 6.100 sales while the Tank is #10 with 5.932.

Honda N-BOX Japan 2015. Picture response.jpThe Honda N-BOX remains #1 in the kei car sales charts. Picture response.jp 

In the kei car aisle, the Honda N-BOX is the most popular nameplate for the second straight year and the third time in the past 4 years thanks to stable deliveries at 186.367 (+1%) with all other kei cars in the Top 7 losing volume on 2015. The Daihatsu Tanto (-1%), Nissan Dayz (-30%), Daihatsu Move (-15%) and Suzuki Alto (-9%) round up a Top 5 unchanged on last year. The Suzuki Spacia (+2%), Daihatsu Cast (+105% for its first full year on sale), Toyota Pixis (+14%) and Suzuki Every Wagon (+11%) are the only keis in positive in the Top 20. Notice also the Honda S660 up 11% to #19 and the only all-new nameplate of the year, the Subaru Chiffon, landing at #20 in December and #34 for 2016.

Mini 5 doors Japan 2016The Mini dethrones the VW Golf to become the #1 foreigner in Japan. 

We witness a momentous shift in the foreign models ranking: for the first time since at least 13 years, the VW Golf is not leading this ranking: it has been overtaken by the Mini up a flamboyant 16% to 24.548 sales, by far the nameplate’s record annual volume in Japan. Note all variants of the Mini (Hatch, Countryman, Paceman and Clubman) are included in this figure. The Mini distances the VW Golf (-11%), Mercedes C-Class (-16%), BMW 3 Series (-1%) and VW Polo (-11%) with the BMW 2 Series (+21%) and Mercedes CLA (+6%) also bringing some positive vibes atop the ranking. Notice also the Mercedes E-Class up 30%, the VW Passat up 22%, the return of the BMW X1 (#13) and Audi A4 (#14) inside the Top 20 and the arrival of the Mercedes GLC (#18).

Previous post: Japan November 2016: Nissan Note e-powers through to pole position

Previous year (1): Japan Full Year 2015: Toyota Aqua leads, tax hike hurt kei cars

Previous year (2): Japan Full Year 2015: Now with exclusive Top 184 All-local models

Two years ago (1): Japan Full Year 2014: Kei cars surge, Daihatsu Tanto above Toyota Aqua

Two years ago (2): Japan Full Year 2014: Now with exclusive Top 189 All-local models

Full Year 2016 Top 60 All-brands, Top 30 cars, Top 35 kei cars & Top 20 foreigners vs. Full Year 2015 figures below. Full December 2016 rankings also below.

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

nissan-note-e-power-japan-november-2016-picture-courtesy-autoc-one-jpNissan Note e-Power

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 58 All-brands, Top 30 cars and Top 35 kei cars – see title *

After two months in negative, the Japanese new vehicle market is back on track in November at +7% to 417.602 registrations. The year-to-date tally however still lags behind the same period in 2015 at -2% to 4.572.726 units. Market leader Toyota beats the market at +8% to 30.3% share, still over double the sales of its immediate follower, Honda up 9% to 13.9%. Daihatsu edges up 0.2% to 12.2%, passing Suzuki (+1.4%) for just 52 units. Nissan gains 14%, Subaru is up 17%, Mitsubishi up 22% and Isuzu up 23% but Lexus (-8%) is the only brand in negative in the Top 12. There are no foreign carmakers in the Top 10 for the first time since April, with Mercedes (+6%) sliding down to #11 followed by BMW (+25%), Volkswagen (-9%), Mini (+20%), Audi (+19%) and Volvo (+37%). Notice also Citroen up 59%, Jeep up 73%, Jaguar up 115% and Abarth up 122%.

nissan-note-e-power-japan-november-2016Nissan Note e-Power  

Thunder strikes in the models ranking: the Nissan Note leaps directly to pole position with a stunning 15.784 sales thanks to the launch of the new model, and specifically the e-power variant, an all-new hybrid powertrain with no plug-in. It consists of a  79 PS/103 Nm 1.2 litre three-cylinder engine only present to feed the 109 PS/254 Nm electric motor from the Leaf: the petrol mill is not connected to the driven wheels, so none of its power actually reaches the ground. Nissan says that the system allows drivers to enjoy the benefits of an electric motor – such as maximum torque from standstill – without having to worry about charging the battery. The presence of the range extender also means that the battery can be made much smaller (just 1/20th the size of the one in the Leaf), enabling it to be placed under the front seats to maintain interior space. All-in-all, the Note e-Power delivers a fuel economy figure of up to 37.2 km per litre on the Japanese JC08 cycle. This according to paultan.org.

toyota-tank-roomy-daihatsu-thor-japan-november-2016-picture-courtesy-autoc-one-jpThe Toyota Tank and Roomy both land directly inside the Japanese Top 30 in November.

The Toyota Prius (+121%) is relegated to 2nd place ahead of the Toyota Aqua (-19%), Sienta (+14%) and Honda Freed (+262%). Notice also the Nissan Serena up 92% year-on-year but down 4 spots on October to #7, the Toyota Vellfire up 52% to #11, the Toyota Passo up 51% to #12, Subaru Impreza up 94%, the Subaru Forester up 44% to #22 and the Mazda CX-3 reappearing in the ranking at #30. Two all-new launches directly land inside the Japanese Top 30 in November: the Toyota Tank (#26) and Roomy (#27) which along with the Daihatsu Thor and Subaru Justy are replacing the Toyota Ractis, bB and Daihatsu Coo Materia. In the kei car aisle, the Honda N-BOX (+5%), Daihatsu Move (+69%) and Tanto (-6%) dominate.

Previous month: Japan October 2016: Nissan Serena shoots up to #3 as market nudges down

One year ago: Japan November 2015: Toyota Voxy up, Volkswagen down 32%

Full November 2016 Top 58 All-brands, Top 30 cars and Top 35 kei cars below.

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Japan October 2016: Serena shoots up to #3 as market nudges down

nissan-serena-japan-october-2016-picture-courtesy-autoc-one-jpHero of the month: the Nissan Serena. 

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 50 All-brands, Top 30 regular cars and Top 35 kei cars *

It’s a second consecutive month just edging into negative territory for Japanese new car sales at -0.4% year-on-year in October to 378.741 registrations, bringing the year-to-date tally down 3.1% to 4.155.125 units. Toyota remains master in command but drops 2% to 119.115 sales and 31.5% share, still slightly above its YTD level (30.7%). Honda gains 3% to hit 15.1%, distancing Suzuki (-5%), Daihatsu (+1%), Nissan (-0.3%), Mazda (-14%) and Subaru (+15%) as the Top 7 is unchanged on both September and YTD. Mitsubishi (-2%) returns to more normal levels now that the uncertainty around its buyout by Nissan has evaporated. Mercedes (+11%) continues to dominate foreigners above BMW (+5%) while both Volkswagen (+25%) and Audi (+37%) breathe a sigh of relief but the comparison set in October 2015 just after the emissions scandal broke is particularly weak. Further down, notice Jeep (+24%), Peugeot (+48%), Renault (+62%), Abarth (+224%) and Smart (+938%) posting imposing year-on-year gains.

honda-freed-japan-october-2016-picture-courtesy-hondaThe new model pushes the Honda Freed up to 5th place overall.

Over in the models ranking, the top ranks suddenly get tighter with the Toyota Prius holding to the pole position for dear life with 14.053 sales (+74%) but is now just 1.573 units above the Toyota Aqua (-20%) – that gap was 4.553 sales last month. The big event in October is the new generation Nissan Serena shooting up 6 spots on last month and 232% year-on-year to third place with 12.408 sales. Just below the Toyota Sienta down 1% at #4, the Honda Freed also gets a boost thanks to its facelift at +201% year-on-year and up 20 ranks on last month to #5. Notice also the Toyota Passo (+68%), Toyota Vellfire (+33%), Mazda Axela (+23%), Subaru Levorg (+58%), Toyota Premio (+82%), Subaru Forester (+157%) and Toyota Estima (+48%) all in frank improvement compared to last year. In the kei cars aisle, the Honda N-BOX (+13%) keeps the lead nut the Daihatsu Move (+83%) is getting closer while the Nissan Dayz steps up to third place overall despite dropping 2% this month. The Toyota Pixis also shines at +40%.

Previous month: Japan September 2016: Toyota and Honda stay positive, market down 0.5%

One year ago: Japan October 2015: Toyota Sienta and Daihatsu Cast impress

Full October 2016 Top 50 All-brands, Top 30 regular cars and Top 35 kei cars below.

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Japan September 2016: Toyota & Honda stay positive, market down 0.5%

toyota-estima-japan-september-2016-picture-courtesy-autoc-one-jpThe new Estima (+97%) helps Toyota gain 11% at home in September. 

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 35 All-kei cars *

* See the Top 52 All-brands, Top 30 cars and Top 20 foreigners by clicking on the title *

Note the August 2016 post has now been updated with kei cars data

After getting back into positive last month, the Japanese new car market is down 0.5% in September to 476.771 registrations, meaning the year-to-date tally is now down 3.4% to 3.776.386 units. Toyota continues to frankly outperform its home market with a stunning 11% rise in September to 144.152 sales and 30.2% share, followed by Honda up 3% to 70.129 and 14.7%. Suzuki (-1%), Daihatsu (-7%), Nissan (-16%), Mazda (-11%) and Subaru (-3%) on the other hand all decline. Isuzu (+8%) and Mercedes (+3%) are the only other two manufacturers posting positive results inside the Top 10, with Mitsubishi (-41%) freefalling on the wake of its fuel economy scandal. Further down, BMW (+14%) remains above Volkswagen (-16%) for the #2 foreign spot, while Jeep (+22%), Porsche (+26%), Mini (+36%), Land Rover (+40%), Peugeot (+42%), DS (+49%), Renault (+69%), Abarth (+100%), Jaguar (+101%) and Smart (+9600%!) all post spectacular gains.

abarth-124-spider-japan-september-2016-picture-courtesy-autoc-one-jpAbarth doubles its sales year-on-year in September thanks to the 124 Spider launch. 

The Toyota Prius (+112%) remains the best-selling nameplate in the country by far with 20.043 sales, ahead of the Toyota Aqua (-15%) with the Sienta making the podium 100% Toyota among regular cars. The Honda Fit (+20%), Toyota Voxy (+17%), Honda Vezel (+32%) and Toyota Passo (+113%) all lodge double-digit gains at least but the Nissan Serena only gets a 6% push from the new generation. Further down, notice the Mazda Axela (+52%), Toyota Crown (+41%), Estima (+97%), Honda Odyssey (+146%) and Subaru Forester (+78%). The Honda N-BOX (+17%) leads the kei cars ranking once again with over 20.000 sales, distancing the Daihatsu Tanto (-13%), Move (+35%) and Nissan Dayz (-21%).

jeep-wrangler-japan-september-2016-picture-courtesy-mft2016-comThe Jeep Wrangler ranks among the 20 best-selling foreign models for the first time. 

The foreign models ranking for Q3 2016 – only quarterly data is released – reserves more surprises than usual: the Mini (all versions) reclaims the top spot thanks to sales up 25% year-on-year to 5.980, oovertaking the VW Golf down 15% to 5.734 but still in the year-to-date lead so far at 17.906 (-14%) vs. 17.790 (+14%) for the Mini. The Mercedes C-Class’ 20% drop in third place is more than compensated by a 98% surge to 4th position by the E-Class with 3.240 sales – it ranked #17 in Q2. The BMW 2 Series and Mercedes A-Class both gain 16%, the Audi A4 (#13) and BMW X1 (#14) remain solid thanks to new generations and the Jeep Wrangler debuts in the Top 20 at #17, the very first Jeep to rank among the 20 best-selling foreigners in Japan.

Previous month: Japan August 2016: Toyota (+16%) outpaces market back in positive

One year ago: Japan September 2015: Toyota Sienta hits record volume again

Full September 2016 Top 52 All-brands, Top 30 cars, Top 35 kei and Top 20 foreigners below.

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

Toyota Prius Japan August 2016. Picture courtesy autoc-one.jpThe Toyota Prius remains the uncontested leader of the Japanese market.

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 55 All-brands, Top 30 cars and Top 34 kei cars *

August marks only the second month of year-on-year gains in Japan so far in 2016 along with April with overall sales up 2.9% to 336.661. The year-to-date tally however remains in negative territory at -3.8% to 3.299.615 units. Imports are up 0.5% to 19.782 or 5.9% share. Bolstered by the new Prius (+164%), Passo (+143%) and Estima (+196%), Toyota once again frankly outpaces its home market with deliveries up a flamboyant 16% year-on-year – the largest jump in the Top 12 – to 110.270 for a 32.8% market share vs. 30.7% year-to-date. Honda follows but drops 9% ahead of Suzuki (+4%), Daihatsu (+5%) and Nissan (-8%). Mazda (-14%) and Mitsubishi (-20%) struggle, the latter being the object of yet another stop sale following new erroneous fuel economy claims.

BMW X1 Japan August 2016. Picture courtesy autoc-one.jpBoth Mercedes and BMW now outsell Volkswagen in Japan. 

Among foreign manufacturers, Mercedes is once again the only one to crack the Top 10 thanks to sales up 5% to 4.805. BMW surges 16% to 3.374 to overtake Volkswagen, freefalling again at -33% to 2.908 registrations. Audi (-7%) is also struggling. Mini (+21%), Volvo (+14%), Jeep (+55%), Smart (+5840%), Jaguar (+32%), Abarth (+82%) and Citroen (+54%) all post spectacular gains.

Nissan Serena Japan August 2016. Picture courtesy autoc-one.jpThe new generation lifts the Nissan Serena back up to #11. 

The Toyota Prius comfortably holds onto its best-selling car crown with sales up 164% year-on-year to 17.503 thanks to the new generation. It distances the Toyota Aqua (-9%), Sienta (+23%), Honda Fit (+4%) and Toyota Passo (+143%), the latter also boosted by a new model. The Nissan Serena is almost back inside the Top 10 (#11) now that the new generation has become widely available. The Toyota Estima (+196%), Mazda Axela (+144%), Honda Odyssey (+112%) and Subaru Forester (+37%) are the other great gainers within the Top 30, all helped by a facelift. In the kei car aisle, the Honda N-BOX (+28%) and Daihatsu Tanto (+5%) cement their domination with positive results, distancing the Nissan Dayz (-21%) and Suzuki Alto (-16%) while the Suzuki Spacia (+32%) and Hustler (+8%) shine just below.

Previous month: Japan July 2016: Toyota up to 35.2% share, Nissan Dayz and Mitsubishi eK back

One year ago: Japan August 2015: Toyota Sienta improves 8-fold to #2 overall

Full August 2016 Top 55 All-brands, Top 30 cars and Top 34 kei cars below.

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