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Japan First Half 2017: Toyota C-HR storms into third place, Prius #1

The Toyota C-HR is the first SUV to lead the monthly sales charts in Japan (in April).

* See the Top 60 All-brands, Top 30 cars, Top 35 kei cars and Top 20 foreigners by clicking on the title *

Now updated with kei car data

Japanese new car sales are up a very robust 9.2% or 235.000 sales over the First Half of 2017 to 2.782.542 units. Toyota outpaces its home market with a 11.4% gain to break through the 30% market share barrier at 30.3%. The podium is unchanged on a year ago with Honda in 2nd place (+1.7%) but losing one percentage point of market share at 13,5% while Suzuki is close to the market at +8.5% to 12.9% share. Nissan benefits from a low base in 2016 when some of its kei cars were handicapped by stop-sales, as well as the success of the Note to gain 22.9% and overtake Daihatsu (+7.6%). Subaru posts the second highest gain in the Top 10 at +20.9%. Mercedes (+1.4%), Volkswagen (+2.1%), BMW (+3.2%), Audi (-4.8%) and Mini (+5.6%) dominate foreign manufacturer but all lose market share.  Jeep (+14.3%), Jaguar (+23.1%), Abarth (+49.1%), Maserati (+49.2%), Citroen (+51.3%) and Renault (+65.3%) all shine.

The Nissan Note leaps up to 2nd place in the regular cars ranking.

Recently threatened by the new Nissan Note (#1 in November 2016, January and March 2017), the Toyota Prius manages to hold onto its pole position in the regular car ranking despite a harsh 36% decline, slipping well under the 100.000 unit-mark at 91.246. The Note for its part is up a whopping 63% on the same period in 2016 to land in 2nd place. But the main event of this First Half of 2017 in Japan is the explosive start of the Toyota C-HR, setting new benchmarks for SUVs in Japan. Toyota’s urban crossover is the first SUV to take the lead of the monthly sales charts in Japan: it did so in April. Even though it has since receded to 2nd place (both in May and June), the C-HR ends H1 2017 in third place of the regular car sales charts with just under 80.000 units, an incredible achievement.

The Toyota Roomy makes its way to #12 in Japan halfway through 2017.

The Toyota Aqua (-28%) is bumped down from #2 to #4 while the Honda Freed is boosted up 3-fold by a new generation to brilliantly round out the Top 5, becoming the brand’s best-selling regular car. The Nissan Serena is up 54% and four spots to #6, the Toyota Vitz up 40% to #8 and the Subaru Impreza almost doubles its sales compared to the same period a year ago, jumping from #19 to #11. Along the C-HR, there are two additional new nameplates making their entrance inside the Japanese Top 15 so far in 2017: the twins Toyota Roomy (#12) and Toyota Tank (#15) both exceeding the manufacturer’s expectations. Notice also the Toyota Harrier up 57%, the Mazda CX-5 up 77%, Mazda Axela up 53% and the Suzuki Swift up 106%, all due to facelifts.

Daihatsu Move sales are boosted up 74% by a new model.

The Honda N-BOX remains the king of kei cars with a 11% surge to over 106.000 sales, increasing its advantage over the Daihatsu Tanto (-10%) to over 25.000 units. Annihilated by stop-sales last year, the Nissan Dayz shoots up 49% to the third step of the podium, but the most spectacular evolution is the works of the Daihatsu Move up 74% and 5 spots on the same period last year thanks to a new model. The Suzuki Spacia (+37%) and Wagon R (+26%) also benefit from new models and gain significant ground in the kei car sales charts. Relaunched in May, the Daihatsu Mira is up 13% and two spots to #8. The only all-new nameplate to enter the kei car market over the period is the very discreet Subaru Chiffon stuck in 19th place.

The Mini remains above the VW Golf in the foreigner charts. 

The Mini managed to end 13 years of VW Golf domination in 2016 and confirms it is the new foreign favourite in the country with sales up 7% year-on-year to just under 12.500. Note this figure includes all Mini variants (Countryman, Clubman and Hatch) and arguably isn’t a fair comparison set. The VW Golf (-7%) and Mercedes C-Class (-6%) complete the podium while the Mercedes E-Class is up 3-fold and 13 spots to #4 thanks to the new model. Other strong performers include the BMW 1-Series (+12%), X1 (+38%) and Audi A4 (+18%). The VW Beetle reappears inside the Top 20 at #18.

Previous post: Japan June 2017: Toyota Prius, C-HR, Vitz lead in market up 13.4%

One year ago: Japan First Half 2016: Japan victim of fuel economy scandal

Full H1 2017 Top 60 All-brands, Top 30 cars, Top 35 kei cars and Top 20 foreigners below.

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