* 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.
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.