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Japan Kei Cars Full Year 2013: Honda N-BOX takes control

January 9th, 2014 1 comment

Honda NBOX Custom Japan 2013The Honda N-BOX enjoys its first year-end pole position in Japan.

* See the All-models and All-brands rankings by clicking on the title! Thanks Stephen *

I know readers, this is not your favourite update as Japanese Kei cars look confronting at best. However this category is not to be discarded as it plays a big part in the fortune (or mis-) of Japanese manufacturers at home, with no less than 2,112,991 units sold this year. This is up 7% on 2012 and more than the entire French market for example! For the first time, the Honda N-BOX takes control of the Kei cars ranking thanks to 234,995 sales, up 11% on 2012 while last year’s winner the Daihatsu Mira is down 28% and 3 spots to #4. A logical win for the N-BOX which topped the monthly ranking 5 times this year, the most of any model. The Daihatsu Move is up 41% and 3 ranks to #2 with 205,333 units and ranked #1 four times. It is followed by the Suzuki Wagon R down 5% but still third with 186,090 sales, topping the monthly charts once.

Daihatsu Tanto Honda N-BOX Suzuki Palette Japan 2013. Picture courtesy of response.jpDaihatsu Tanto, Honda N-BOX, Suzuki Spacia

Down 15% to 5th place but up to a fantastic pole position in December (+93% to 19,211 units) we find the Daihatsu Tanto, while the Honda N-ONE lands in 7th place for its first full year of sales with 107,583 registrations. Two all-new entrants follow: the Suzuki Spacia at #7 with 107,193 units and the Nissan Dayz at #8 with 78,855. Notice also the Mitsubishi eK up 73% to #11 and the Toyota Pixis Space stuck in 12th position (-8%).

Honda N-WGN Cutsom Japan 2013. Picture courtesy of cliccar.comHonda N-WGN Custom

Finally, the Honda N-WGN arrives at #23 with 11,510 sales in only two months including a splendid 8,600 in December (#7). Brand-wise, Daihatsu maintains its lead in spite of sales down 2% to 660,186 units and 31.2% share, while Suzuki is up 6% to 622,415 and 29.5% in second place. Honda rounds up the podium, up a cool 27% to 407,050 and 19.3% ahead of Nissan at 8.8% (+21%) and Mitsubishi at 4% (+5%).

Previous month: Japan Kei cars November 2013: Daihatsu Tanto strong, Honda N-WGN lands

One year ago: Japan Kei cars Full Year 2012: Daihatsu Mira ends 9 years of Suzuki Wagon R reign

Two years ago: Japan Kei cars Full Year 2011: Suzuki Wagon R celebrates 9 years on top

December and Full Year 2013 Top 40 models Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Japan

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

January 9th, 2014 3 comments

BMW 3 Series Japan December 2013. Picture courtesy of autoc-one.jpBMW 3 Series

* See the Top 20 best-selling models and Top 47 All-brands by clicking on the title! *

346,133 imported models found a buyer in Japan in 2013, up 9% year-on-year. The VW Golf remains by far the most successful, boosted by a record-breaking 4th Quarter and up 7% on 2012 to 23,858 sales. The BMW 3 Series is the outstanding performer of the year thanks to the new model now in full swing: it gains 69% and 3 spots on 2012 to land at a shiny second place with 18,739 units. As a result the Mini is kicked down to third position but with sales up a further 5% it  delivers another record-breaking year – keep in mind this figure includes the Countryman.

VW Up! Japan December 2013The VW Up lands at #5 for its first full year of sales in Japan.

Flamboyantly back inside the Top 20 thanks to the new generation, the Mercedes A-Class shoots up directly to 4th place with 12,440 sales, while the VW Up is up 11 spots on last year to land at #5 with an excellent 12,322 units for its first full year of sales in the country. Notice also the VW Beetle up 135% to 10,004 sales, making it 4 Volkswagens in the Top 8, the Volvo V40 arriving directly at #10 (the only non-German in the Top 12!), the Audi A4 up 30%, Audi A1 up 13%, Audi A3 up 28% (!) and the BMW X3 finding its way into the year-end Top 20 for the very first time at #20.

Previous year: Japan Imports Full Year 2012: VW Golf #1, Mini at record heights

Two years ago: Japan Imports Full Year 2011: VW Golf #1, now in overall Top 30!

Full Year 2013 Top 20 models and Top 47 All-brands Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: Japan

Japan Imports Q4 2013: VW Golf breaks volume record!

January 9th, 2014 7 comments

VW Golf Japan December 2013. Picture courtesy of autoc-one.jpNever had Japanese customers bought that many VW Golf in 3 months!

* See the Top 20 best-selling models and Top 40 All-brands by clicking on the title! *

* The Full Year 2013 report is here! *

Like every quarter, I can share with you the most popular imported models in Japan, a very rare species although it is getting more common these days: 88,260 imports found a buyer in Japan over the period, bringing the final 2013 total to 346,133, up 9% on 2012. Now the the new generation has spread in Volkswagen dealerships across the country, the VW Golf is up a mammoth 155% year-on-year over the last quarter of 2013 to reach 9,144 sales, to my knowledge the highest quarterly volume ever reached by an imported model in Japan! No less. Needless to say the Golf reinforces its overall lead over the full year thanks to this spectacular performance.

Mercedes A Class Japan December 2013. Picture courtesy of carsensor.netMercedes A-Class

The BMW 3 Series also shines in 2nd place, up 38% year-on-year to 5,470 sales, while the Mini rounds up the podium like in the full year at 4,589 units, up 12% on Q4 2012. The Mercedes A-Class manages to hold on the 4th spot it held in Q3 thanks to 3,950 sales, the VW Polo is back up 4 spots to #5 and the VW Up back up two to #6 but down 25% year-on-year. Excellent showing of the BMW 1 Series up 3 ranks to #8, while the Volvo V40 is the only non-German model in the Top 10 at #10, down 5 spots on Q3. Notice also the Mercedes S-Class brilliantly up to #14 with 1,623 sales, the Audi A3 back inside the Top 20 at #15, the Fiat 500 up to #17 and the Mercedes CLA at #20.

Previous post: Japan Imports Q3 2013: Mercedes A, CLA-Class and Volvo V40 shine

One year ago: Japan Imports Q4 2012: Mercedes C-Class #1, VW Up! lands at #4

Full Q4 2013 Top 20 models and December Top 40 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Japan

Japan November 2013 Photo Report

December 31st, 2013 1 comment

1 Suzuki MR Wagon. Picture courtesy of Stephen BloomSuzuki MR Wagon and Mount Fuji

* Many thanks to Stephen for this Photo Report *

BSCB reader Stephen gives us an end-of-year present in this photo report of his travels across Japan earlier this year. Enjoy!

Previous Japan Photo Report: Japan October 2013 Tokyo Photo Report

2 Suzuki Every Hiroshima Japan November 2013. Picture courtesy of Stephen BloomSuzuki Every in Hiroshima

3 Daihatsu Move Custom Nagano Japan November 2013. Picture courtesy of Stephen BloomDaihatsu Move Custom in Nagano

4 Suzuki Alto C2 Honda Fit Nagano Japan November 2013. Picture courtesy of Stephen BloomSuzuki Alto C2 and Honda Fit in Nagano

5 Various cars Nagano Japan November 2013. Picture courtesy of Stephen Bloom‘Assortment’ in Nagano

6 Morris Hiroshima Japan November 2013. Picture courtesy of Stephen Bloom1956 Morris Minor in Hiroshima

 

Categories: Japan

Japan October 2013: Discover the Top 160 best-selling locals!

December 16th, 2013 No comments

Nissan Dayz Japan October 2013. Picture courtesy of auto-one.jpThe Nissan Dayz is the brand’s new best-seller at home.

* See the Top 160 best-selling local models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Eddie *

For the first time this year, I can give you a complete ranking of the best-selling local models in Japan, but for this we have to go back in time slightly to October. Note the ranking includes Kei cars but excludes all foreign manufacturers. Hybrid sales for each model are also available and are indicated in brackets next to the nameplate in the ranking. It is fascinating to discover that both Suzuki and Nissan have a new range-topper this year, a fine performance indeed for these two new entrants: the Suzuki Spacia lands directly at #4 overall thanks to 14,366 sales while the Nissan Dayz arrives at #7 with 11,686 units. The new generation Honda Fit is the best-seller with 21,484 sales (we knew that) and we learn that 49% come from the hybrid variants.

Toyota Corolla Fielder Japan October 2013. Picture courtesy of response.jp64% of Toyota Corolla sales in Japan are the Fielder station wagon variant.

The Toyota Aqua comes second at 19,984 units while the Honda N-Box rounds up the podium with 16,206 sales and the Toyota Prius ranks 5th at 12,420. If the figures are different to my October reports, it’s because we also have access to sales of the Honda Fit Shuttle (1,787 units), Honda N-Box+ (1,393) and Toyota Prius Alpha (8,490). Notice also the Daihatsu Mira E:S at #8 with 10,303 sales and the Daihatsu Move at #9 with 10,245. Big gainers in the sales charts vs. the Full Year 2012 ranking include the Toyota Corolla Fielder at #12 vs. #31 thanks to the all-nw hybrid variant (67% of sales), the Honda N-One at #15 vs. #58 and Toyota Corolla Axio at #19 vs. #40, here too boosted by the hybrid which represents 48% of sales.

2013 Lexus IS 300h LuxuryLexus IS

Further down, notice the Toyota Crown up to #20 with 4,251 sales, 79% of which are the hybrid variant, Toyota Spade up to #22, Mitsubishi eK up to #23, Toyota SAI up to #37 and Subaru Forester up to #38. Other impressive performers include the Honda Accord Hybrid landing at #42, the Lexus IS up to #44 vs. #139 over the Full Year 2012 thanks to the new model, the Mazda Atenza (aka 6) up to #59 vs. #108, Toyota Crown Majesta up to #70 vs. #152 and the Toyota Land Cruiser up to #98 vs. #122.

Previous post: Japan November 2013: Honda Fit confirms pole position, Odyssey at highest in 9 years

Previous post (Kei): Japan Kei cars November 2013: Daihatsu Tanto strong, Honda N-WGN lands

Previous month:  Japan October 2013: Honda Fit #1 for the first time in 29 months

Previous month (Kei): Japan Kei cars October 2013: Suzuki Spacia up to #2

Full October 2013 Top 160 All-local models Ranking Table below.

Read more…

Categories: Japan

Japan Kei cars November 2013: Daihatsu Tanto strong, Honda N-WGN lands

December 6th, 2013 2 comments

Honda N-WGN Japan November 2013. Picture courtesy of autoc-one.jpHonda N-WGN

* See the Top 25 best-selling models and Top 8 All-brands by clicking on the title! Thanks Stephen *

Sales of new Kei cars in Japan continue on their great run: they are up a splendid 21% year-on-year in November to 180,971 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 1,944,246 units, up 5% on 2012 and more than the entire French car market… The Honda N-Box holds onto its pole position thanks to sales up 19% year-on-year to 19,513, but is threatened this month by the Daihatsu Tanto boosted by the new model and up 56% to 19,246. The Daihatsu Move also impresses at +51% to 12,677 units. The N-Box is now assured to finish the year at #1 for the very first time, with sales adding up to 216,867 after 11 months vs. 193,646 for the Daihatsu Move.

Daihatsu Tanto Japan November 2013. Picture courtesy of autoc-one.jpDaihatsu Tanto

Further down, the Suzuki Spacia is down 3 spots from a fantastic 2nd spot last month to a still very satisfying #5 at 12,192 sales, the Nissan Dayz is down one to #7 and 9,055 units, the Mitsubishi eK is up 83% year-on-year to #11 and 3,707 sales and the Toyota Pixis Space is stable at #12, still the brand’s only offering in the Kai car category. Finally, we welcome an all-new model in the sales charts this month: the third iteration of Honda’s N-range: the N-WGN lands directly at #13 with 2,910 sales.

Previous month: Japan Kei cars October 2013: Suzuki Spacia up to #2

One year ago: Japan Kei cars November 2012: Honda N-One already close to 10,000 sales

Full November 2013 Top 25 models and Top 8 All-brands Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: Japan

Japan November 2013: Honda Fit confirms pole position, Odyssey at highest in 9 years

December 5th, 2013 4 comments

Honda Fit Japan November 2013. Picture courtesy of autoc-one.jpHonda Fit

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

Euphoric month for new car sales in Japan, up 13% year-on-year in November to 276,399 registrations. After snapping up the top spot from the two Toyota hybrids last month, the Honda Fit confirms it is here to stay and ranks #1 once again in November thanks to a massive 26,235 sales, up 181% year-on-year. This is the Fit nameplate’s third best monthly volume ever below March 2012 (34,161) and September 2011 (27,980)! The Toyota Prius remains #2, down 6% to 20,706 units while the Toyota Aqua is down a worrying 35% year-on-year to 17,238 sales, however its advantage over the Prius year-to-date (8,941 units) is almost unassailable and 2013 should be the first year the Aqua is crowned as Japan’s best-seller…

Honda Odyssey Absolute Japan November 2013. Picture courtesy of car.watch.impress.co.jpHonda Odyssey Absolute

In 4th place and thanks to the newly released hybrid variant, the Toyota Corolla improves again on an already excellent October score to 13,395 sales, more than double its level from one year ago. This is the Corolla’s 2nd best monthly figure in almost 4 years (since March 2010), just below the 13,404 units it clocked in July 2012. The Corolla is now up to #5 year-to-date, passing the Nissan Serena in the process. But wait there is much more movement inside the Japanese Top 30 this month…

Mazda Axela Japan November 2013. Picture courtesy of autoc-one.jpThe Mazda Axela is back inside the Top 30 after a two year-absence…

Thanks to the 5th generation of the model now on sale, the Honda Odyssey makes a thunderous return inside the Japanese Top 30 four years after its last appearance in December 2009, landing directly at #11 with 4,527 sales, up 920% year-on-year. The last time the Odyssey ranked better was in August 2004 (#9) and the last time it sold more units in a month was in September 2006 (4,588). We also welcome back the Mazda Axela (aka Mazda3) in the Top 30 for the first time since November 2011, up 315% year-on-year to #16 with 3,623 units, which could potentially be the nameplate’s best-ever monthly ranking at home! Notice also the Honda Accord lodging a second consecutive month inside the Top 30 – this is unheard of in Japan – at #30 with 2,099 sales, up a mammoth 1466% year-on-year…

Previous month: Japan October 2013: Honda Fit #1 for the first time in 29 months

One year ago: Japan November 2012: Toyota Aqua #1, Subaru Forester at best-ever #11

Full November 2013 Top 30 models and Top 13 brands Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: Japan

Japan October 2013: Tokyo Photo Report

November 25th, 2013 1 comment

Hummer H3Pimped out Tokyoite Hummer H3

* NOW UPDATED with more photos! *

* See the Full Photo Report by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Stephen *

No I have not gone off to Tokyo in Japan, no travelling for me for a while! One of BSCB’s readers, Stephen, was kind enough to share some shots of his recent trip to Tokyo which I thought I would publish here. Enjoy! Some of Stephen’s observations in Tokyo follow. There were probably about equal numbers of Aquas and NBOXs, which makes sense given their respective sales figures and launch dates.

Toyota Aqua Honda FitToyota Aqua and Honda Fit: fighting for the top spot.

Lots of current generation Prius (which also makes sense), a few 2nd gen but absolutely zero first gen (they are probably all in Mongolia by now!). Surprisingly there were more first and second generations Nissan Cube than Prius 1 and 2.

Toyota HarrierAll-new Harrier in Toyota dealership.

The new generation Honda Fit, even though it has been on the market for one and a half month, is apparently every where already! To the point where Stephen saw about the same number of Honda N-One and new Fit. Interestingly, the all-new Toyota Harrier (aka Lexus RX) is already on sale in Japan, clearly a soft launch here, but the hybrid version won’t come up until early 2014 which is when sales should lift up significantly.

Mitsubishi iMitsubishi i in a “tailored” parking spot… Certainly not one for the Hummer above.

Lexus LS ShibuyaA rare Lexus LS in Shibuya, Tokyo

Full Photo Report below.

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Categories: Japan

Japan October 2013: Honda Fit #1 for the first time in 29 months

November 7th, 2013 3 comments

Honda Fit Japan October 2013. Picture courtesy of autoc-one.jpHonda Fit

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

Fantastic month for new car sales in Japan: up 17% year-on-year to 264,567 registrations which reduces the year-to-date fall to 7% at 2,731,659 units. Big event atop the models ranking: thanks to the third generation of the model enjoying its first full month of sales in Japan, the Honda Fit manages to grab the pole position in October thanks to 23,281 sales, up a huge 150% year-on-year. The last time the Fit topped the Japanese sales charts was in May 2011, right in the aftermath of the terrible tsunami that hit the country in March of that year. The Fit topped the annual Japanese sales charts twice before: in 2002 (interrupting 22 consecutive years of Toyota Corolla reign!) and 2008. 2014 could be next! This performance pushes Honda to #2 brand above Nissan at 14.4% share vs. 10.1% year-to-date.

Toyota Corolla Axio Japan October 2013. Picture courtesy of nikkeibp.co.jpThe Hybrid variant pushes Toyota Corolla sales up 111% this month.

The Toyota Prius remains #2 at 20,886 units, up a cool 15% on October 2012 and now above the Toyota Aqua, down 2 ranks on September and 17% year-on-year to #3 with 19,984 sales. The Aqua however holds onto its year-to-date top spot thanks to 228,662 units vs. 216,253 for the Prius. There is a third Toyota inside the Top 4 this month: the Corolla is up a fantastic 111% year-on-year thank to the new Hybrid version at #4 with 12,632 sales, its strongest monthly volume since July 2012…

Toyota SAI Japan October 2013Toyota SAI

Lots of impressive year-on-year gains this month in the Japanese Top 30: the Toyota Crown is up 174% to #8, Honda Stepwgn up 53% to #9, Toyota Vellfire up 44% to #11, Toyota Alphard up 48% to #17 and the Nissan X-Trail up 37% to #25. The Toyota SAI continues to climb up the ladder thank to its facelift: up a further 5 spots on September and 445% year-on-year to #23 with 2,437 sales, while the Subaru Forester is down 6 ranks on last month to #24 but up a gargantuan 7827% on October 2012 to 2,378 units.

Honda Accord PHEV Japan October 2013Honda Accord

Finally, we welcome the Honda Accord inside the Top 30 for the first time since I have been following Japanese car sales monthly (that’s 10 years!) at #27 with 2,152 sales, up 1388% on October 2012 thanks to the new model and its PHEV version. As opposed to the United States where it regularly sells over 30,000 monthly units (38,559 last August!), the Honda Accord has never really been successful at home in Japan so it will be interesting to see whether this generation can buck the trend and climb higher in the monthly sales charts…

Previous month: Japan September 2013: New gen pushes Honda Fit back up to #3

One year ago: Japan October 2012: Toyota Aqua takes the lead, Toyota 86 up to #14

Full October 2013 Top 30 models and Top 13 local brands Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: Japan

Japan Kei cars October 2013: Suzuki Spacia up to #2

November 7th, 2013 No comments

Suzuki Spacia Japan October 2013. Picture courtesy of ResponseSuzuki Spacia

* See the Top 25 best-selling models and Top 8 brands by clicking on the title! Thanks Stephen *

Sales of new Kei cars in Japan are up a very impressive 17% year-on-year in October to 157,083 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 1,763,276 units, up 3% on 2012. The Honda N-Box reinforces its year-to-date lead by selling 17,600 units (-3% year-on-year), adding up to 196,357 after 10 months vs. 180,969 for the Daihatsu Move, down to #4 in October in spite of sales up 70% year-on-year. The best performer this month is the Suzuki Spacia, up 4 spots on September to reach a best-ever 2nd place for its 8th month in market thanks to 14,366 units. This enables Suzuki to pass Daihatsu to top the brands ranking this month. Notice also the Mitsubishi eK solid at #10 and the Mazda Flair Wagon up 3 ranks to #13.

Previous month: Japan Kei cars September 2013: Honda N-Box confirms supremacy

One year ago: Japan Kei cars October 2012: Mazda Flair and Honda N-One land

Full October 2013 Top 25 models and Top 8 brands Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: Japan