* 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%.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Previous month: Japan January 2017: Nissan Note leads, Toyota C-HR up to #4
Full February 2017 Top 55 All-brands, Top 30 regular cars and Top 33 kei cars below.