* 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.
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.