* See the Top 30 best-selling regular, kei cars & Top 55 All-brands by clicking on the title *
This August update was created in collaboration with Stephen Bloom.
The Japanese market is finally beginning to show some signs of recovering from the tax increase on kei cars with sales of new vehicles down just 2% year-on-year in August to 327.049 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 3.428.776 units, down 10% on 2014. The kei segment continues to show the biggest decrease but it is now out of the double digits with sales down 9% to 115.746 units. Regular cars are up 2% to 211.303 units and foreign brands are up 8% to 19.692.
Domestic automakers show contrasting results ranging from Lexus (+34%) and Mazda (+25%) with the largest gains, to Suzuki (-17%) and Honda (-11%) each with double digit losses. Daihatsu (+3%) managed to post its first increase of 2015. Among foreign manufacturers, Mercedes remains on top and breaks into the overall Top 10 at #10 with stable sales at 4.581, above Volkswagen (+16%), BMW (+8%), Audi (+8%) and Mini (+11%). Porsche (+126%), Jaguar (+148%) and Ferrari (+103%) take off.
In the regular models ranking, Toyota dominates the podium though not with the models you might expect. In July the Prius fell to its lowest ranking since the third generation debuted back in May 2009 and it remains at #5 in August. That trend will likely continue until the next generation launches later this year, but in the meantime the top spot is being kept warm by the Toyota Aqua with 12,390 units. The biggest news is the new Sienta coming in at #2 and up an astounding 720% on the previous model in August 2014 to its highest ever monthly volume of 7.736, edging out the Corolla by just 21 units.
The Honda Shuttle jumps nine spots this month to #11 with 4.775 units sold and continues to hold the Fit back since becoming its own nameplate this year. Just last week Suzuki lauched the new generation Solio (+27%) which already lands at #20 and will surely climb further with a full month of sales. Also debuting this month is the facelifted Toyota Land Cruiser 200 series (+53%) while its more luxurious cousin, the Lexus LX, is released at home for the first time.
Over on the kei chart there was less movement, but that will change soon as Daihatsu continues to tease its new model that will go on sale next week. The Honda N-BOX (+3%) posts a slight gain and holds onto the top spot, followed again by the Daihatsu Tanto (-15%) at #2. The Nissan Dayz (-10%) comes in at #3 both this month and year-to-date while the Toyota Pixis series (+17%) climbs modestly since the addition of the Pixis Mega.
Previous post: Japan July 2015: Now with Top 150 All-local models
Previous month: Japan July 2015: New generation lifts Toyota Sienta to #8
One year ago: Japan August 2014: Subaru Levorg breaks into Top 10
Full August 2015 Top 30 regular, kei cars and Top 55 All-brands below.