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Japan March 2017: Nissan Note reclaims top spot

The Nissan Note is the best-selling regular car in March. Picture autos-one.jp

* See the Top 55 All-brands, Top 30 regular cars, Top 35 kei cars and Top 20 foreign models by clicking on the title *

Another very dynamic month for the Japanese new vehicle market: up 8.7% year-on-year in March to 691.375 registrations, lifting the year-to-date tally up 7.3% to 1.577.750. March is the last month of the Japanese financial year so manufacturers traditionally load up on sales. Market leader Toyota beats the market at +10.8% to just under 200.000 sales, that’s more than double any manufacturer in the country. Honda follows but drops 2.4% while Isuzu (+17.6%), Nissan (+19.6%), Subaru (+23.4%), Mazda (+28.3%) and Hino (+30.8%) all post double-digit gains inside the Top 10. Further down, notice Porsche (+62.2%), Renault (+67.9%), Lamborghini (+107.5%) and Abarth (+141.6%) all lodging spectacular year-on-year improvements.

The Mazda CX-5 is up to #12 in Japan this month. 

In the regular car ranking, the surprise is the pole position of the Nissan Note (+78%), overtaking the Toyota Prius to rank #1 for the third time in the past five month after last November and January. The Prius tumbles down 29% in 2nd place ahead of the Toyota Aqua (-24%) while the Toyota C-HR drops one spot on February to #4 but lodges a volume record at 16.816 units. The Honda Freed is up 219% to #5 thanks to the new model, the Nissan Serena gains 93% to #6, the Subaru Impreza is up 123% to #11 and the Mazda CX-5 takes advantage of its facelift to gain 223% and rank at #12. The newly launched Toyota Roomy (#15) and Tank (#16) both stabilise within the Top 20, with the Suzuki Swift more than doubling its sales year-on-year (+109%) thanks to the new generation.

The BMW 5 Series is back among the Top 20 foreign models in Japan over Q1 2017.

The Honda N-BOX remains the best-selling kei car in the country and with 26.124 it is also the best-selling vehicle in Japan this month. It distances the Daihatsu Tanto (-11%) and Nissan Dayz (-2%) while just below, the Daihatsu Move (+50%) and Suzuki Spacia (+89%) are the biggest gainers in the kei car world this month. Launched last December, the Subaru Chiffon is struggling to make its mark at #16. Looking at the best-selling foreign nameplates over the First Quarter of 2017, despite a 6% drop the VW Golf reclaims the top spot off the Mini (all variants are counted together) for just 27 units with the Mercedes C-Class up 6% to remain in third place. Below, the VW Polo (+23%), Mercedes E-Class (+92%), Audi A3 (+27%), BMW X1 (+25%) and Audi A4 (+40%) shine while the BMW 5 Series is back inside the Top 50 thanks to the new model at #14.

Previous month: Japan February 2017: Toyota Prius leads, CH-R climbs onto podium

One year ago: Japan March 2016: Kei cars pull market down 9%, Toyota Prius reigns

Full March 2017 Top 55 All-brands, Top 30 regular cars, Top 35 kei cars and Q1 2017 Top 20 foreign models below.

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