* See the Top 55 brands, Top 30 cars and Top 34 kei cars by clicking on the title *
The Japanese new light vehicle market is up by a vigorous 9.2% year-on-year in April to 354.750 units, lifting the year-to-date tally up 7.7% to 1.932.499. The Top 3 best-selling marques trail the market growth with Toyota up just 1.8%, Suzuki up 6.4% and Honda up 7.1%. Daihatsu (+23.7%) and Nissan (+43.3%) on the other hand post spectacular gains, as do Subaru (+15.6%) and Mitsubishi (+34.2%) further down the Top 10, the latter recovering from year-ago scores impacted by the fuel economy scandal. Mercedes tops foreign brands but gains just 1.1%, distancing BMW (+2.9%), Volkswagen (+2.7%), Mini (+11.5%) and Audi tumbling down 18%. Finally, notice Renault (+179.7%) and Citroen (+140.5%), the most dynamic mainstream brands.
The car model ranking is the theatre of a very rare event: a new nameplate in pole position. Toyota’s C-HR manages to brilliantly take the lead this month with 13.168 sales, some 33% ahead of the 2nd ranking car, the Toyota Prius, down a devastating 52%. This is the first time Toyota places an SUV in the first place at home and Japan is the 2nd country to crown the C-HR after Ireland did so for the last two months of 2016. In third place we find the Nissan Note up 67% and still in the year-to-date lead, followed by the Honda Freed up a spectacular 289% thanks to the new generation. Launched at the end of 2016, the Toyota Roomy (#8) and Tank (#11) step up this month, gaining 7 and 5 ranks on March respectively. The Suzuki Solio (+34%), Subaru Impreza (+53%), Toyota Alphard (+74%), Mazda CX-5 (+75%) and Suzuki Swift (+120%) post the largest year-on-year gains in the Top 30 just as the Daihatsu Thor makes its first appearance among the country’s 30 best-sellers at #30. The Honda N-BOX remains the best-sellng kei car in the country with 12.265 sales, distancing the Daihatsu Move (+160%) and Tanto (+8%) while the Suzuki Wagon R leaps up 74% and the Nissan Dayz is up 275% on an April 2016 score handicapped by a stop sale.
Previous month: Japan March 2017: Nissan Note reclaims top spot
Full April 2017 Top 55 brands, Top 30 cars and Top 34 kei cars below.