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

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

Toyota Prius Japan June 2016. Picture courtesy car.watch.impress.co.jpThe Toyota Prius reclaims the title of best-selling vehicle in Japan. Picture car.watch.impress.co.jp

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The Japanese new car market posts a very solid 12.4% year-on-year gain in May to 372.576 registrations, lifting the year-to-date tally up 8.4% to 2.305.072 units. Regular cars are up 6.1% to 237.512 but it’s kei cars that really pull the market up at +25.3% to 135.064. Partly explaining this rebound: the stop sale in April 2016 of the Nissan Dayz and Mitsubishi ek, both selling no units that month. Accordingly, below Toyota up 9% to 32.4% share, Nissan catches up on lost time with a 75.7% gain to 14.2% share – also helped by the success of the Note – and Mitsubishi is up 110.9% in 8th place. Daihatsu (+25.5%) and Subaru (+28.9%) are the other winners this month. Mercedes (#10 overall) continues to top foreign carmakers above Volkswagen (-3.7%), BMW (+4%) and Audi (-13.1%). Renault (+94.1%), Smart (+70.3%) and Maserati (+58.3%) also make themselves noticed.

Toyota Alphard sales are up 65% year-on-year in May. Picture autoc-one.jp

After the Toyota C-HR historically took the lead of the models ranking last month, in May the Toyota Prius returns to the pole position for only the second time this year after last February and despite sales down 30% year-on-year. With the Nissan Note below 10.000 sales, the Prius also reclaims the year-to-date lead at 73.300 units (-36%) vs. 72.610 (+66%) for the Note. The C-HR, although not #1, remains at a very high level just under 13.000 sales in 2nd place. The Honda Freed is once again the brand’s most popular car with deliveries flying off 254% thanks to the new model. It ranks 4th this month and 5th so far this year, now getting dangerously close to toppling the Toyota Aqua year-to-date, down another 33% this month.

The new model boosts Suzuki Swift sales up 166%. Picture autoc-one.jp

The Toyota Vitz (+39%) and Subaru Impreza (+81%) lodge the other two impressive year-on-year gains inside the Top 10 whereas the Toyota Sienta struggles at -37%. Further down, the Toyota Roomy (#13) and Tank (#16) both retreat five spots on last month but remain at satisfying levels. The Honda Fit (-44%) tumbles down to #14 overall vs. #4 over the FY2016 and now desperately needs a facelift. Toyota’s MPVs are in great shape this month: the Noah is up 21%, the Vellfire up 24% and the Alphard up 65%. Other impressive gainers inside the Top 30 include the Toyota Harrier (+39%), Mazda CX-5 (+44%) and Suzuki Swift (+166%), the latter two boosted by new models.

The Daihatsu Mira is up 96% thanks to its facelift. Picture autoc-one.jp 

In the kei minicars aisle, the Honda N-BOX remains in the lead, improving 14% year-on-year to 13.118 units. The big event is the ascension of the Daihatsu Mira from #10 in April to #2 this month with sales up 97% year-on-year thanks to a long-awaited new model. The Mira stays #10 year-to-date for now. It distances this month the Move (+106%) and Nissan Dayz, the only two other kei car nameplates to post five-digit figures for the month. Helped by a new model as well, the Suzuki Wagon R gains 54% on April 2016 but drops two spots on last month to #6. The Toyota Pixis (+23%), Subaru Pleo (+44%) and Mazda Flair (+46%) also shine this month.

Previous month: Japan April 2017: Toyota C-HR climbs into pole position

One year ago: Japan May 2016: Nissan (-26%) and Mitsubishi (-51%) sink

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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, Top 30 cars and Top 34 kei 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%), Mazda CX-5 (+75%) and Suzuki Swift (+120%) 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. The Honda N-BOX remains the best-sellng kei car in the country with 12.265 sales, distancing the Daihatsu Move (+160%) and Tanto (+8%) while the Suzuki Wagon R leaps up 74% and the Nissan Dayz is up 275% on an April 2016 score handicapped by a stop sale.

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

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

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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

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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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