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Japan February 2016: Toyota Prius stays put in market down 6%

Toyota Prius Japan February 2016. Picture courtesy response.jpThe Toyota Prius is #1 in Japan for the third month running.

* See the Top 53 All-brands, Top 30 models and Top 35 kei cars by clicking on the title *

This update was created in collaboration with Stephen Bloom

Demand in the Japanese automotive market is forecast to lag behind previous years and so far that predication is holding true. February monthly sales are down 6% from last year to 451.330 registrations. Regular cars are down 4.6% to 275.165, but again the kei segment shows the greatest decline at -9.1% and 176.165 registrations. Imports fare the best but are also down 2.2% to 22.806 units. Only two Japanese brands manage to stay in the black this month: Lexus (+16%) continues its upward trend and Mitsubishi (+4%) has seen some modest gains from its Delica minivan. All other domestic brands were down with several in the double digits including Mazda (-13%), Toyota (-12%), and Subaru (12%). Among foreigners, Mercedes (-5%) is the only one to snap a Top 10 ranking, while Volkswagen (-24%) and Audi (-21%) are freefalling. BMW (+19%), Volvo (+16%), Fiat (+33%) and Peugeot (+50%) impress.

Nissan X-Trail Japan February 2016The Nissan X-Trail hits a record 7th place at home. 

In the model ranking, the new Toyota Prius is #1 again at 19.010 units, up 45% from last year. The Aqua continues to hold its own at #2 while the Sienta is finally knocked off the podium after six months, surpassed by both the Honda Fit and Nissan Note. The Nissan X-Trail (+35%) climbs four places to #7, its highest ever rank on the chart. But the big move was the re-entry of the Honda Odyssey to #20 boosted 71% by the debut of its hybrid version. Suzuki also had a significant debut this month with the revival of the Ignis nameplate. The new Ignis certainly “evoques” the SUV styling that is popular with consumers today, but we will have to wait until next month to see if it can place on the chart with a full month of sales.

Suzuki Ignis Japan February 2016. Picture courtesy autoc-one.jpWill the new Suzuki Ignis manage to re-ignite Suzuki sales? Answer next month.

As we have seen for much of the past year, kei models are largely down over last February when sales were inflated due to the looming tax increase that was implemented as of April 2015. The Daihatsu Tanto remains virtually level with 17.977 registrations and holds the top spot again this month. Meanwhile, only 80 units separated last year’s champion, the Honda N-BOX, from reclaiming the top spot. The Nissan Dayz and Suzuki Alto follow at #3 and #4 respectively, while the Honda N-WGN climbs five places to #5. Also climbing this month is the Daihatsu Cast, up two places to finish just below its archenemy the popular Suzuki Hustler.

Previous month: Japan January 2016: New gen Toyota Prius cements new leadership

One year ago: Japan February 2015: Honda Jade and Mazda CX-3 land

Full February 2016 Top 52 All-brands, Top 30 models and Top 35 kei cars below.

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