* Click on title to see the Top 54 All-brands, Top 30 cars and Top 35 kei cars *
This report was created in collaboration with Stephen Bloom.
The Japanese market continues to struggle in the wake of a tax increase on kei cars earlier this year with sales of new vehicles down 4% year-on-year to 380.089 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 4,288,237 units, down 9% from 2014. Regular cars rose slightly (0.2%) in October to 240.889 units, but that was offset by kei cars down 11% to 139.200 units. Imports were also down for a second consecutive month with sales down 7% to 21.068 units. Among domestic manufacturers, only Mitsubishi (+13%) and Toyota (+3%) post year-on-year gains while Subaru (-14%), Mazda (-13%), and Suzuki (-12%) are all down by double digits.
The big news among foreign carmakers is Volkswagen tumbling down 48% and Audi down 29%. It is impossible to not relate these distressing drops to the current scandal the Group is embroiled in, yet up until now we had failed to witness any significant negative sales impact in any market. This is now done with Japan, and even though the vehicles concerned by the cheating devices are present in small numbers in the country, the PR effect has been devastating so far. Porsche (+69%) remains unaffected for now.
In the regular models ranking, the Toyota Aqua again leads by a wide margin with 15,536 units. The new Toyota Sienta is #2 for its third consecutive month. The Honda Fit climbs three places to #3 this month thanks to a minor refresh debuting late September. The Toyota Crown also received a facelift lifting sales 42% to 5.246 units and #10. This, together with a tumble for the Mazda Demio to #21, gives Toyota seven models in the top ten this month. Finishing out the chart the recently refreshed Mitsubishi Outlander re-enters with sales up 152%.
Over on the kei chart the Honda N-BOX is #1 for a tenth consecutive month with 12.277 units followed by the Daihatsu Tanto in #2. The Nissan Dayz bucks the slumping kei trend thanks to a facelift this month which helped boost sales 13% over last October. If it were not for that increase the new Daihatsu Cast would probably have made it to the podium after its first full month on sale, yet still climbs seven places to #4 with 8.895 units. It seems that Daihatsu may have cast new spotlight on the kei-SUV segment because its rival, the Suzuki Hustler, also climbs this month rejoining the top five for the first time since April.
Previous month: Japan September 2015: Toyota Sienta hits record volume again
Full October 2015 Top 54 All-brands, Top 30 cars and Top 35 kei cars below.