* NOW UPDATED with the Top 55 All-brands, Top 30 regular cars and Top 33 kei cars *
The Japanese new car market starts 2017 on a positive note with a 4.9% year-on-year gain to 401.650 registrations. Market leader Toyota edges past the market growth at +5.3% to 28.7% share, a full two percentage points below its FY2016 level. In contrast, Honda frankly outpaces the market at +16.2% to 15% share, as does Nissan up 10.6% to 14% share, followed by Suzuki up 5.9% and Daihatsu down 0.1%. Beyond the Big Five, Lexus (-14.8%), Mazda (-19.2%) and Mitsubishi (-21%) struggle whereas Subaru (+11.7%), Hino (+12%) and Isuzu (+12.7%) impress.
Mercedes (+1%) remains the most popular foreign carmaker but this month the German brand stays outside the overall Top 10 at #11, ahead of Volkswagen (+4.7%), BMW (-4.6%), Audi (+7.6%) and Mini (-1.3%). A handful of other foreign manufacturers also register double-digit year-on-year gains in January in Japan: Volvo (+20.6%), Jeep (+26.1%), Renault (+41.4%), Maserati (+57.6%), Lamborghini (+64.7%), DS (+65.4%), Citroen (+70%), Abarth (+119.5%), Rolls Royce (+145.5%) and McLaren (+175%) are among them. At the other end of the scale, Cadillac (-58.7%) and Ford (-79.1%) implode.
The models ranking is suddenly and completely reshuffled in January. Boosted by the new generation and its e-Power variant, the Nissan Note reclaims the top spot it held in November with an imposing 14.113 sales (+69%). Nissan even manages a historical 1-2 with the Serena up 95% to 11.179 units in 2nd place. Leader over the FY2016, the Toyota Prius freefalls 53% year-on-year and is knocked down to #3, its lowest ranking since November 2015.
But the big news is the arrival in 4th place for its 2nd month in market of the Toyota C-HR at 9.144 sales vs. 6.013 for its rival the Honda Vezel (+8%). The C-HR could be positioning itself as a serious contender for the 2016 pole position at home. Also launched late last year, the Toyota Roomy (#9) and Tank (#13) post very solid scores again. Other great performers in January include the Honda Freed up 3-fold on its January 2016 score to #6, the new gen Subaru Impreza – Car of the Year 2016-2017 in Japan – up 60% on the previous one to #11, the Toyota Harrier up 55% to #15, Suzuki Swift up 77% to #21 and Mazda Axela up 63% to #25. In the kei cars ranking, the Honda N-BOCX (+28%) keeps the lead by far, followed by the Daihatsu Tanto (-13%), Move (+63%) and Nissan Dayz (-14%).
Full January 2017 Top 55 All-brands, Top 30 cars and Top 33 kei cars below.