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Japan Imports Q2 2014: Sedan pushes Audi A3 up to 5th place

July 16th, 2014 1 comment

Audi A3 Sedan Japan June 2014. Picture courtesy of ameba.jpAudi A3 Sedan

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 20 best-selling models and Top 56 brands! Thanks Stephen *

New car imports are the most affected by the April 1 tax increase in Japan with sales down 16% year-on-year in June to 24,364 registrations but still up 8% year-on-year over the first half of 2014 at 143,965 units. Q2 levels are therefore much lower than Q1 and if the VW Golf is the runaway leader by far again with sales up 66% year-on-year to 5,842 units, this is a 51% drop from its Q1 result. In fact the entire Top 20 most popular imports register falls of at least 14% and up to 62% (Mercedes A Class) in Q2 compared to Q1. The Mini reclaims the 2nd spot off the BMW 3 Series with 3,577 sales vs. 2,891, and this because of the arrival of the BMW 4 Series at a brilliant 20th spot with 720 units over Q2.

VW Beetle Japan June 2014The VW Beetle is the 10th most popular import in Japan in Q2 2014.

The VW Polo is up one spot on Q1 to 4th place with 2,454 sales (-20% year-on-year) but the real star over the period is the Audi A3: thanks to the arrival of the sedan variant it is up a gigantic 124% year-on-year in Q2 to #5 with 2,331 units and now ranks 7th year-to-date vs. #17 over the Full Year 2013. Notice also the Volvo V40 back up to #9, the VW Beetle up to #10 and the Volvo V60 up 4 ranks to #13.

Renault Lutecia Japan June 2014. Picture courtesy of hobidas.comRenault sales are up a whopping 50% so far in 2014 in Japan.

In the brands ranking (all brands including local Japanese ones), Volkswagen grabs 2% of the overall market (+8%) followed by Mercedes up 13% to pass Mitsubishi at #9, BMW overtaking Lexus at #12 (+8%) and Audi up 12% at #15. Notice also Fiat up 25% to #19, Jeep up 48% to #20, Renault up 50% to #24, Maserati up 271% to #31, Bentley up 81% to #38 and Rolls Royce up 52% to #42.

Previous post: Japan Imports Q1 2014: VW Golf first ever import above 10,000 sales

One year ago:  Japan Imports Q2 2013: Mini and BMW 3 Series on top

Full Q2 2014 Top 20 models and Top 56 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Japan

Japan June 2014: Toyota Aqua back to #1, Honda Vezel up to #4

July 16th, 2014 2 comments

Honda Vezel Japan June 2014. Picture courtesy of car.watch.impress.co.jpHonda Vezel

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Regular passenger vehicles sales in Japan are down slightly from 2013 (-1.8%) to 229,037 registrations but still up year-to-date (+7.2%) at 1,554,597 units. This month the Toyota Aqua puts an end to 3 consecutive months of Honda Fit domination (and 7 out of the last 8 months) by selling 19,812 units (-2%) vs. 16,066 (+32%) which also enables it to reclaim the year-to-date leadership with 123,637 sales vs. 121,764 for the Fit. The Toyota Prius remains in third place with 13,557 units, a harsh 38% year-on-year decline. The hero of the month is once again the Honda Vezel, breaking the 10,000 monthly sales benchmark for the first time at 11,680 and breaking into the monthly Top 5 at #4. Where will Honda’s small SUV stop? These scores are already way above what its competitor the Nissan Juke ever achieved at home.

Subaru Levorg Japan June 2014. Picture courtesy of autoc-one.jpSubaru Levorg

The Toyota Voxy (+184%), Corolla (+58%), Vitz (+40%), Noah (+103%) and Passo (+49%) all lodge impressive gains, while the Toyota Harrier maintains itself at unheard-of heights in 13th place with 4,880 sales and the Mazda Axela (aka Mazda3) is up one spot on May to #14 with 3,709 units, up 242% on June 2013. The Nissan X-Trail is back up 3 ranks on last month and 107% year-on-year to #15 and we welcome a new nameplate inside the Japanese Top 30 this month: the Subaru Levorg lands at #23 with 2,133 sales for its 2nd month in market, adding up to 2,771 so far. This already makes the Levorg Subaru’s 2nd best-seller at home below the Impreza (#20) and above the Forester (#30).

Previous month: Japan May 2014: Honda Vezel and Toyota Harrier shine again

One year ago: Japan June 2013: Toyota Prius passes Aqua year-to-date

Full June 2014 Top 30 models and Top 13 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Japan

Japan Kei cars June 2014: Daihatsu Tanto leads, Copen returns

July 8th, 2014 2 comments

Daihatsu Copen Japan June 2014. Picture courtesy of response.jpDaihatsu Copen

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 33 best-selling models and Top 8 brands! Thanks Stephen *

Sales of new Kei cars are up 2% year-on-year in June to 187,384 units and 15% year-to-date to an all-time high 1,235,204 registrations, with the Daihatsu Tanto keeping the lead for the 7th consecutive month thanks to sales up 102% year-on-year at 21,323 units. It is followed by the Suzuki Wagon R at 14,153 (-18%), the Honda N-BOX at 14,039 (-21%) and the Nissan Dayz at 13,349 (-27%). The Suzuki Hustler hits its strongest monthly volume so far at 7,909 units and remains in 10th place, while we welcome back the Daihatsu Copen in the ranking: the new generation, launched on June 19, sells 1,067 units and ranks #16.

Previous month: Japan Kei cars May 2014: Daihatsu Tanto & Suzuki Wagon R overall best-sellers

One year ago: Japan Kei cars June 2013: Nissan Dayz/Mitsubishi eK beyond 20,000 sales on 1st month

Full June 2014 Top 33 models and Top 8 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Japan

Japan Kei cars May 2014: Daihatsu Tanto & Suzuki Wagon R best-selling vehicles overall

June 6th, 2014 No comments

Daihatsu Tanto Japan May 2014. Picture courtesy of response.jpDaihatsu Tanto

* See the Top 32 All-models and Top 8 All-brands by clicking on the title! Thanks Stephen *

It turns out the national tax hike implemented on April 1 is benefiting Kei cars sales: they are up another 5% year-on-year in May to 156,464 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 1,047,821 units after 5 months, up a gigantic 18% on 2013. Often overlooked, the new Kei car market in Japan is actually equivalent to the entire UK passenger car market and bigger than France and Italy! With the price of larger cars impacted by the tax hike, Japanese consumers are switching to Kei cars in bigger and bigger numbers: they represent a huge 43% of the total Japanese car market in May vs. 40% a year ago.

Suzuki Wagon R Japan May 2014. Picture courtesy of response.jpSuzuki Wagon R

Another significant achievement of the Kei car market this month is the fact that the two leaders, the Daihatsu Tanto at 18,656 sales (+88% year-on-year) and the Suzuki Wagon R at 13,258 (-2%) are the two best-selling vehicles in the country all categories included, given the Honda Fit sold ‘only’ 12,984 units in May. The Nissan Dayz comes in #3 Kei car but #4 overall at 12,402 units, above the Toyota Aqua (12,138). Notice also the Honda N-WGN up 2 spots on April to #8, the Suzuki Hustler down one to #10 and Mazda Flair Crossover down 3 to #22.

Previous month: Japan Kei cars April 2014: Daihatsu Tanto and Nissan Dayz on top

One year ago: Japan Kei cars May 2013: Daihatsu Move confirms top spot

Full May 2014 Top 32 All-models and Top 8 All-brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Japan

Japan May 2014: Honda Vezel and Toyota Harrier shine again

June 5th, 2014 2 comments

Honda Vezel Japan May 2014. Picture courtesy of carsensor.netHonda Vezel

* See the Top 30 models and Top 13 All-local brands by clicking on the title! Thanks Stephen *

Analysts had predicted a steep year-on-year decline in May as a result of an increase in Japan’s national sales tax that took effect on April 1. Not so. The market is down only 6% on May 2013 to 206,906, mainly handicapped by foreign brands, the most impacted by the tax hike, down 13% whereas local brands are down just 3%. Toyota holds 43.1% of the Japanese market but drops 8% year-on-year while Honda is up a spectacular 64% to 30,089 units and 13.7% share, its 2nd consecutive month above Nissan down a harsh 20% to 26,526 units and 12.1% share.

Toyota Harrier Japan May 2014. Picture courtesy of webcg.netToyota Harrier

In the models ranking, the Honda Fit is on top for the 7th time in the last 8 months thanks to 12,984 sales and reinforces its 2014 leadership at 105,698 units vs. 103,825 for the Toyota Aqua, down 14% to 12,138 sales this month. This is going to be one tight fight for the Full Year 2014 pole position, with the Aqua having topped the annual Japanese ranking once (in 2013) vs. twice for the Fit (in 2002 and 2008). Below the Toyota Prius down a horrendous 47% to #3, the Toyota Voxy is up another 270% to 4th place and the Toyota Corolla is up 44% to #5.

Mazda Axela Japan May 2014. Picture couresy of webcb.comMazda Axela

Launched last December, the Honda Vezel confirms it is already a force to be reckoned with, maintaining itself at a best-ever 6th place thanks to 7,899 units. The Toyota Harrier is up an almost irrelevant 80.000% on May 2013 to stay at #11 with 4,005 sales thanks to the new generation of the model, the Mazda Axela (aka Mazda3) is up 185% year-on-year and 7 spots on April to #15, the Nissan X-Trail is up 76% but down 8 ranks to #18 and the Honda Odyssey is up 408% to reappear inside the Top 30 at #29.

Previous month: Japan April 2014: Toyota Voxy on podium, Honda Fit now #1 year-to-date

One year ago: Japan May 2013: Toyota Prius catches up on Aqua year-to-date

Full May 2014 Top 30 models and Top 13 local brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Japan

Japan Kei cars April 2014: Daihatsu Tanto and Nissan Dayz on top

May 9th, 2014 No comments

Daihatsu Tanto Japan April 2014. Picture courtesy of autoc-one.jpDaihatsu Tanto

* See the Top 33 All-models ranking by clicking on the title! *

In spite of the national tax sales hike valid from April 1 onwards, the Kei cars market in Japan is up 3% year-on-year this month to 156,362 registrations, almost as much as the regular car market (188,864)! Year-to-date sales are up 21% to 891,358 units. The Daihatsu Tanto takes a solid option at the Full Year 2014 leadership by outselling all rivals by 7000 sales this month at 19,390 units, doubling its April 2013 score. The Nissan Dayz is back up one spot on March to #2 with 12,537 sales and is now also #2 year-to-date at 73,492 units, passing 2013 leader the Honda N-BOX at 72,127. The Suzuki Alto is up 4 ranks on last month to #5, the super cute Suzuki Hustler is up two to #9 and the Mazda Flair Crossover up 4 to #19.

Previous month: Japan Kei cars March 2014: Daihatsu Tanto above 30,000 sales!

One year ago: Japan Kei cars April 2013: Daihatsu Move makes a move

Full April 2014 Top 33 All-models Ranking Table below.

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Categories: Japan

Japan April 2014: Toyota Voxy on podium, Honda Fit #1 in 2014, Honda Vezel up to best-ever #6

May 8th, 2014 2 comments

Toyota Voxy Japan April 2014. Picture courtesy of autoevolution.comToyota Voxy

* See the Top 30 models & Top 13 local brands by clicking on the title! Thanks Stephen *

An increase in Japan’s national sales tax took effect on April 1 and analysts predict Q2 2014 new car sales in the country will be down 18% as a result. For now, April is down only 11% as carmakers were still delivering orders accumulated during the winter. Nevertheless April marks the first year-on-year drop in 8 months and the weakest monthly volume in 16 months at 188,864 units. The year-to-date total is still up 12% for now to 1,298,525 registrations. There is lots of movement in the Japanese models ranking once again in April. Thanks to sales up 70% year-on-year to 15,621 units, the Honda Fit ranks 1st for the 5th time in the last 6 months and passes the Toyota Aqua year-to-date establish itself in the top spot in 2014 so far with 92,714 units vs. 91,687.

Honda Fit Japan April 2014. Picture courtesy of autoc-one.jpThe Honda Fit is now #1 year-to-date in Japan.

Exceptional performance of the new generation Toyota Voxy, up 3 spots on March to break onto the monthly podium for what should be the first time in the nameplate’s career with 9,271 sales, up 264% on April 2013. The Toyota Prius is kicked down to #4, its worst monthly ranking in Japan in 6 years and now threatened by the one it toppled from decades-long domination: the Toyota Corolla! This month the Prius is at 8,692 sales (-53%) and the Corolla at 8,255 (+39%).

Honda Vezel Japan April 2014. Picture courtesy of autoc-one.jpHonda Vezel

The Honda Vezel is up 6 ranks on March to land in 6th place with 7,959 sales, the best ranking of its short career so far. But wait there’s more: the Toyota Noah is up a further two spots on March to #7, the Nissan X-Trail up one to reclaim a spot in the Top 10 at #10, the Toyota Harrier up 4 to #11, a new all-time high ranking for the nameplate. Finally the Toyota Land Cruiser/Prado makes a very rare appearance inside the Top 30 at #29 with 1,291 sales.

Previous month: Japan March 2014: Toyota Voxy one in 7 models to break all-time records

One year ago: Japan April 2013: Toyota Prius back on top

Full April 2014 Top 30 models and Top 13 All-local brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Japan

Japan Imports Q1 2014: Golf first ever import above 10,000 sales

April 5th, 2014 2 comments

VW Golf Japan March 2014. Picture courtesy of carsensor.jpVW Golf breaks the Quarterly sales record for an imported model in Japan.

* See the Top 20 best-selling models and Top 50 brands by clicking on the title! *

Like every quarter, I can share with you the most popular imported models in Japan, a relatively rare species although it is getting more common these days: with 105,452 registrations (including 88,767 foreign vehicles and 16,685 Japanese), imports are up a magnificent 18% year-on-year over the first Quarter of 2014. Brand-wise, Volkswagen is the most popular foreign brand as usual and ranks 7th overall so far in 2014 (+27%), followed by Mercedes at #10 (+51%), BMW at #13 (+42%), Audi at #15 (+21%) and Volvo at #16 (+33%). Notice also Fiat up 113%, Jeep up 55%, Renault up 53%, Maserati up 237% and Bentley up 116%.

Mercedes S Class Japan March 2014. Picture courtesy of carsensor.jpMercedes S-Class

In the models ranking, building on an all-time high 9,114 sales over the last Quarter of 2013, the VW Golf becomes no less than the very first imported model in the history of automobile in Japan to sell over 10,000 units in a Quarter! At 11,984 sales, its score is even up a gargantuan 146% over the first Quarter of 2013! The Golf leaves the competition way behind, selling more than double the amount of the #2 the BMW 3 Series in exceptional shape as well at +54% to 5,684 units.

Maserati Ghibli Japan March 2014. Picture courtesy of asahi.comMaserati sales are up 237% so far in 2014 in Japan. 

As in 2013, the Mini is 3rd and the Mercedes A-Class 4th, while the Mercedes E-Class is up 121% to #7, the Audi A3 up 133% to #9, Volvo V40 up 70% to #11, the Fiat 500 back up 131% to #16 and the Mercedes S-Class up one spot on Q4 to a brilliant 13th position.

Previous post: Japan Imports Q4 2013: VW Golf breaks volume record

Previous year: Japan Imports Full Year 2013: BMW 3 Series up 69% to #2

One year ago: Japan Imports Q1 2014: VW Beetle and Mercedes A-Class up

Full Q1 2014 Top 20 models and Top 50 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Japan

Japan Kei cars March 2014: Daihatsu Tanto above 30,000 sales!

April 5th, 2014 No comments

Daihatsu Tanto Japan March 2014. Picture courtesy of response.jpThe Daihatsu Tanto breaks its monthly volume record this month.

* See the Top 33 All-models and Top 8 brands by clicking on the title! *

Tremendous strength of the Kei cars market this month in Japan: up 22% year-on-year top 302,350 registrations which brings the 1st Quarter total to 735,001 units, up 25% on 2013. This is to be compared with 774,400 sales of all categories of cars over the same period in Brazil, 711,752 in Germany and 688,122 in the UK! Illustrating this fascinating obsession Japanese consumers have with this format of cars, no less than 6 Kei cars sell over 20,000 units this month vs. only 3 regular cars (Fit-Aqua-Prius)… The top seller for the 4th month running is the Daihatsu Tanto which passes the 30,000 monthly unit-milestone for the very first time to break its single-month volume record at 30,688 sales, almost doubling its sales year-on-year (+92%). The Tanto thus takes a significant option towards the Full Year 2014 crown, which would be a first for this nameplate.

Honda N-WGN Custom Japan March 2014. Picture courtesy of autoc-one.jpHonda N-WGN Custom

Leader in 2013, the Honda N-BOX is back up two spots on February to #2 with 26,627 sales but is stuck in 4th place so far in 2014. Two recently launched models also break records this month: the Nissan Dayz is up 27% on February to reach 26,190 units while the Honda N-WGN has not stopped growing since its November 2013 launch: up another 24% on last month to pass the 20,000 monthly-unit benchmark for the first time at 23,929 sales. The Suzuki Wagon R (21,587) and Daihatsu Mira (21,300) follow. Notice also the Suzuki Spacia up 111% year-on-year, the Mitsubishi eK up 120% and the Suzuki Hustler stable in 11th position.

Previous month: Japan Kei cars February 2014: Nissan Dayz above 20,000 units

One year ago: Japan Kei cars March 2013: Suzuki Spacia lands in 9th place

Full March 2014 Top 33 All-models and Top 8 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Japan

Japan March 2014: Toyota Voxy one of 7 models in Top 30 to break all-time monthly volume record

April 4th, 2014 2 comments

Toyota Voxy Japan March 2014The Toyota Voxy sells a record 11,937 units in March in Japan.

* See the Top 30 best-selling models and Top 13 local brands by clicking on the title! *

In March new car sales in Japan are up a fantastic 14% year-on-year to 481,039 registrations, mainly due to purchases brought forward in anticipation of the national sales tax raise from 5 to 8% on April 1. The 1st Quarter total is up 18% to 1,109,661 units. Toyota (43.5% share), Nissan (14.1%), Honda (12.7% and up 42%), Mazda (5.2%) and Subaru (4.1%) dominate the brands ranking while Mitsubishi Fuso (+73%), UD Trucks (+71%) and Lexus (+30%) deliver outstanding gains. Reversely Mitsubishi is down 22% this month.

Toyota Noah Japan March 2014. Picture courtesy of response.jpThe Toyota Noah is at an all-time high 9,841 sales…

In the models ranking, the Honda Fit reclaims the pole position for the 4th time in the last 5 months and with 31,921 sales it delivers the Fit nameplate’s 2nd biggest monthly volume ever below the 34,161 units it sold in March 2012. The Toyota Aqua is kicked down to 2nd place at 31,146 sales but keeps the year-to-date lead for now at 78,004 units vs. 77,093 for the Fit. Below the Toyota Prius (-13%) and Nissan Note (-19%) in sharp decline, the Toyota Corolla is up 50% year-on-year thanks to its new hybrid variants in 5th place. In fact, this month no less than 7 nameplates break their all-time monthly volume record, all due to the arrival of hybrid versions in the range when the new generation of the model launched.

Nissan X-Trail Japan March 2014. Picture courtesy of autoc-one.jpThe Nissan X-Trail at a record 9,093 units…

Toyota Harrier Japan March 2014…and the Toyota Harrier at a best-ever 7,020 sales.

First the Toyota Voxy at #6 with 11,937 sales, up 130% year-on-year, then its twin the Toyota Noah at #11 with 9,841 units (+144%), the Subaru Impreza at #10 with 9,632 sales (+31%), the Nissan X-Trail at #11 with 9,093 units sold (+166%), the Honda Vezel at #12 with 8,649 sales for its 4th month in market, the Mazda Axela down two spots on February but up 375% year-on-year to an all-time high 7,784 units and the Toyota Harrier at #15 with 7,020 sales. Pfew! Talk about a record-filled month in Japan!

Previous month: Japan February 2014: Toyota Aqua #1, Voxy and Noah shoot up

One year ago: Japan March 2013: Toyota Aqua and Nissan Note hit highest volume

Full March 2014 Top 30 models and Top 13 local brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Japan