* 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.
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.
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.
Full May 2014 Top 30 models and Top 13 local brands Ranking Tables below.