* 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.
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.
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.
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.