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 deliveries 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 

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

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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