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Japan Full Year 2012: All-new Toyota Aqua tickles Prius

The Toyota Aqua is the most successful nameplate launch in Japan in at least 20 years!

* See the Top 30 best-selling models and Top 14 All-brands by clicking on the title! *

Boosted by government subsidies for the purchase of clean vehicles, the Japanese new ‘regular’ car market is up a massive 26% year-on-year in 2012 to 3,390,274 registrations. The Toyota Prius is the most popular car in the country for the 4th year in a row and behaves exactly like the market at 317,675 sales, up 26% on 2011 and beating its 2009 figure to set a new all-time annual volume record for any nameplate in Japan.

However the biggest event of the year is the all-new Toyota Aqua making a huge splash in the ranking: for its first year in market, it directly shoots up to #2 overall with a huge 266,567 units and even took control of the sales charts from October onwards, auguring well for a 2013 win… This is simply the most successful nameplate launch in Japan in the last 20 years, with the only other models coming close being the Toyota Wish at 158,658 units and #3 in 2003, Toyota Vitz (aka Yaris) at 156,646 and #2 in 1999 and Nissan Cube at 107,857 and #2 in 1998

Nissan Note

The Honda Fit is kicked down one spot to #3 with 209,276 sales, up 1%, the Honda Freed is up 57% and 2 ranks to #4 at 106,316 units and is followed by the Toyota Vitz (-18%) and Nissan Serena (+14%). Helped by the arrival of the 2nd generation, the Nissan Note is up 6 spots and 84% year-on-year to #7 with 85,330 sales, peaking at a record 18,355 units in September and maintaining itself on the podium for 4 consecutive months. The Toyota Corolla is up 14% but down 3 ranks to #8, the nameplate’s lowest ever year-end ranking in Japan.

Toyota Vellfire

Other great performers include the Toyota Vellfire up 13 spots and 115% to #10, the Subaru Impreza up 15 ranks and 140% to #13, peaking at a record #5 in December, and the Toyota Alphard up 133% to #17. Apart from the Aqua, there are two additional all-new models in the 2012 Top 30: the Mazda CX-5 lands at #24 with 35,438 sales, peaking at #10 in September, and the Toyota Spade ranks #29 at 26,539 units, peaking at #5 in October.

Previous post: Japan December 2012: Subaru Impreza and Forester break records

Previous year: Japan Full Year 2011: Toyota Prius leads in difficult year

Full Year 2012 Top 30 models and Top 14 All-brands Ranking Tables below.

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