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Japan Imports Q3 2014: Mercedes C-Class up to third place

October 10th, 2014 1 comment

Mercedes C Class Japan September 2014. Picture courtesy of response.jpMercedes C-Class

* See the Top 20 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Thanks Stephen *

Potentially the sign of a longer-term recovery, sales of imported cars in Japan are up year-on-year for the first time since the April 2014 tax hike at +3% in September to 32.810 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 213.535 units, up 5% on 2013. In the models ranking, the VW Golf remains on top for the third quarter in spite of sales down 5% year-on-year to 5.981 and adding up to 23.807 so far in 2014 (#26 overall). Mini stays in second place with 4.331 units (+6%), this includes Countryman and Paceman sales. The big changes comes in third position: ousting the BMW 3 Series from the podium, the Mercedes C-Class is up 3 spots on last quarter and 43% year-on-year to #3 and 4.138 sales as the new model went on sale in Japan on July 7.

Mercedes GLA Japan September 2014. Picture courtesy of response.jpMercedes GLA

Another Mercedes makes its debut in the ranking directly at #11: the all-new GLA class which went on sale at the end of May and misses out on a Top 10 spot for just 16 units at 1.761 sales in 3 months. This means Mercedes places an astounding 5 models inside the Top 11 alongside the E-Class (#7), A-Class (#9) and S-Class (#10). Notice also the BMW 4 Series up two ranks on last quarter to #18 with 1.162 units.

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

One year ago: Japan Imports Q3 2013: Mercedes A, CLA-Class and Volvo V40 shine

Full Q3 2014 Top 20 models Ranking Table below.

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Categories: Japan

Japan August 2014: Subaru Levorg breaks into Top 10

September 8th, 2014 No comments

Subaru Levorg Japan August 2014. Picture courtesy of Response.jpSubaru Levorg

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

New regular car sales are down 5% year-on-year in Japan in August to reach their lowest monthly volume since the Tohoku earthquake of March 2011 at 206,606 registrations. The year-to-date total resists though, still up 6% on 2013 to 2,263,094 units. Whereas the long-term influences on this decline surely relate to the April tax increase and perhaps the broader contracting GDP of Japan, BSCB’s local antenna Stephen also sees a shorter-term weather factor for August: Western Japan was hit by a super typhoon at the beginning of the month followed by record rainfall a couple weeks later that triggered fatal mudslides in Hiroshima, disrupting usual business. Add to this that August is typically the worst month for auto sales because of the Obon when many people travel to there hometown to honor their ancestors and visit family and we have a perfect storm which is actually not that harsh: all this factors put together could have ended in a much steeper decline.

Honda Vezel Japan August 2014Honda Vezel

In the brands ranking, Honda continues to evolve at stratospheric heights: up 57% for the month and 61% year-to-date, now frankly above Nissan at 14.4% share vs. 12.4% with Toyota completely unattainable at 43.2% share. Model-wise, the Toyota Aqua remains on top, with the Honda Fit overtaking the Toyota Prius to reclaim the #2 spot it holds year-to-date. The new generation Toyota Voxy holds very well at #4 (+215%) while the Honda Vezel climbs one rank back to #5 and now stands at #7 for the year. It seems that the Vezel is affecting Fit sales more than the Aqua has been affected by the introduction of the Corolla hybrids. The all new Subaru Levorg rises slightly to break into the monthly Top 10 for the first time at #8 thanks to 5,391 sales.

One year ago: Japan August 2013: Toyota Aqua #1, Honda Freed back up to #7Full August 2014 Top 30 models and Top 13 local brands Ranking Tables below. Read more…

Categories: Japan

Japan Kei cars August 2014: Suzuki Hustler in Top 5 again

September 8th, 2014 No comments

Suzuki Hustler Japan August 2014. Picture courtesy of webcg.comSuzuki Hustler

* See the Top 33 models and Top 8 brands by clicking on the title! Thanks Stephen*

Sales of new Kei cars in Japan are down a harsh 15% year-on-year in August to 126,865 registrations, however the year-to-date total is still up by a healthy 9% on 2013 to 1,536,446 units. There are a few explanations to this steep fall: first the recent tax increase that pushes car prices up, but also some specific circumstances this month: Western Japan was hit by a super typhoon at the beginning of the month followed by record rainfall a couple weeks later that triggered fatal mudslides in Hiroshima and disrupted business, especially for kei cars as they are especially popular in these regions. The Daihatsu Tanto holds onto the top spot, completely bucking the trend with sales up 43% on August 2013 to 11,979 units, while the Suzuki Wagon R is back up 4 spots to #2, kicking the Nissan Dayz down to #3. Below the Honda N-BOX down 44% in 4th place, the Suzuki Hustler lodges another very impressive month at #5, missing the 10,000 monthly sales-mark for just 100 units and helping lift Suzuki to #1 Kei car brand once again at 42,923 sales and 33.8% vs. 35,454 and 27.9% for Daihatsu. Suzuki now trails Daihatsu by less than 6,000 units year-to-date and should overtake it to become #1 next month at the current rate.

Previous month: Japan Kei cars July 2014: Suzuki Hustler hits records

One year ago: Japan Kei cars August 2013: Honda N-Box back to pole position

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

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Categories: Japan

Japan Kei cars July 2014: Suzuki Hustler breaks records

August 7th, 2014 No comments

Suzuki Hustler Japan July 2014. Picture courtesy of autoc-one.jpSuzuki Hustler

* See the Top 35 models and Top 8 brands by clicking on the title! Thanks Stephen *

For the first time in 13 months, sales of new Kei cars in Japan are down year-on-year in July at -7% to 174,374 units, bringing the year-to-date total to 1,409,578 units, up 12% on 2013. Complete reshuffle in the models ranking: below the Daihatsu Tanto regular in first place at 17,044 sales (+59%), the Nissan Dayz is back up 3 spots on June to reclaim the 2nd position it holds year-to-date at 14,832 units, just above the Honda N-BOX at 14,633 (-26%). But the big event is the super-cute Suzuki Hustler shooting up 6 ranks to a best-ever #4 spots, smashing its monthly volume record to 14,006 units, in effect also its first time above 10,000 sales. This performance helps Suzuki stay above Daihatsu for the Kei car brand crown this month. The Honda N-WGN follows at #5 while the Suzuki Wagon R tumbles down 31% to #6. Among other newcomers, the Daihatsu Copen is up one spot to #15 and the Mazda Flair Crossover up 7 to #19.

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

One year ago: Japan Kei cars July 2013: Nissan Dayz almost reaches 14,000 sales

Full July 2014 Top 35 models and Top 8 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Japan

Japan July 2014: Subaru Levorg almost inside Top 10

August 7th, 2014 No comments

Subaru Levorg Japan July 2014. Picture courtesy of carview.co.jpSubaru Levorg

* See the Top 30 models and Top 14 local brands by clicking on the title! Thanks Stephen *

Sales of regular cars in Japan are up a shy 0.6% year-on-year in July to 285,886 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 2,056,488 units, up 7% on 2013. Given the rarity of the concept of used car in Japan, car purchase patterns are strongly skewed towards the first few months of sales of a new model, the bubble bursting quickly afterwards. Case in point: the Honda Fit, whose latest generation launched last September, is now falling down the ranking: from #1 in May to #2 in June and #3 in July, enabling the Toyota Aqua (-17%) and Prius (-27%) to reclaim the Top 2 spots they held over the Full Year 2013.

Toyota Voxy Japan July 2014. Picture courtesy of response.jpToyota Voxy

The Toyota Voxy for its part is still on the up in 4th place (+193%), even breaking its all-time monthly volume record at 12,704 units thanks to the hybrid variant that’s been added to the range along with this year’s facelift. Add in its twin the Toyota Noah (+102%), virtually the same car with a different face and we come to a huge 19,488 sales, equivalent to #2 overall… Meanwhile the Honda Vezel lodges a 2nd consecutive month above 10,000 monthly sales at #6 with 11,567 units. For its third month in market, the Subaru Levorg jumps 12 spots on June to stop just short off the Top 10 at #11 with 5,352 sales, already and by far the brand’s best-seller at home. The Nissan X-Trail at #20 (+59%), Mazda Axela at #22 (+134%) and Honda Odyssey at #26 (+492%) are solid but starting to retreat compared to the past few months.

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

One year ago: Japan July 2013: Toyota Aqua reclaims top spot year-to-date

Full July 2014 Top 30 models and Top 14 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Japan

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

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 30 best-selling models and Top 13 brands! *

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