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Japan November 2017: Nissan, Subaru pull market into negative (-2.6%)

A minor facelift is enough to propel the Honda Fit back onto the podium.

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

The Japanese new car market is down 2.6% year-on-year in November to 408.860 registrations, yet the year-to-date volume remains in positive territory at +5.8% to 4.839.912 units. Once again the market is handicapped by the inspection scandal affecting Nissan: the carmaker freefalls 27.4% to just 8.5% share vs. 11.4% so far this year. Without Nissan, Japan-wide sales are up 0.6%. This month Nissan is joined by Subaru (-12.8%) who has also apologised for irregular inspections happening over decades and readying its largest recall plan in the country. Meanwhile Toyota is stable on top at +0.4% to 31.2% share vs. 30.3% YTD, followed by Honda up 4.4% to 14.9%, Suzuki up 2.6% to 12.8% and Daihatsu up 1.5% to 12.7%, reproducing the YTD order. Mazda struggles this month at -19.3% despite reporting no inspection irregularities. Lexus shoots up 28.1% to land inside the overall Top 10 for the first time since April 2016, also outselling all foreign premium brands including Mercedes (#12) and BMW (#13). Below, Renault (+24.6%), Audi (+28.6%), Ferrari (+42.1%), Peugeot (+43%), Citroen (+49.6%) and Alfa Romeo (+202.7%) are among the largest gainers this month.

Lexus (+28.1%) breaks into the Top 10 brands for the first time this year.

The Toyota Roomy/Tank tandem would be #1 in market this month.

The Toyota Prius returns to the top of the regular cars sales charts for the first time since last June and the fourth time this year despite a 12% year-on-year drop. It cements its YTD lead even though its deliveries are tumbling down 37% on the same period in 2016. The Toyota Aqua (-20%) follows while the Honda Fit shoots up 46% thanks to a mid-cycle facelift to land on the podium for the first time since March 2016 and the Toyota Corolla gains 28% to hit its highest ranking in two years at #4. Both the Toyota Roomy (#6) and Tank (#9) continue to post very solid scores, adding up to over 14.000 sales this month (which would earn them and by far the #1 spot), both outselling the Toyota C-HR (#12), the carmaker’s other recent launch at home. Their twin the Daihatsu Thor even makes another appearance inside the Top 30 at #29, it ranked #30 last April, May and June. The Nissan Note (#8) is slowly recovering fathom the brand’s inspection scandal but still drops 56% year-on-year. Other great performers include the Honda StepWGN (+50%), Toyota Camry (+936%), Mazda CX-5 (+180%), Toyota Land Cruiser (+68%) and Suzuki Swift (+206%).

Toyota Land Cruiser sales are up 68% year-on-year in November.

In the kei cars ranking, the Honda N-BOX remains the uncontested leader thanks to sales surging 42% year-on-year to 20.992 and is followed like last month by the Daihatsu Move (-7%), earning the third spot year-to-date off the Nissan Dayz (+12%). The Suzuki Wagon R is up 59% to #4 but remains #5 year-to-date, the Daihatsu Mira is up 45%, the Suzuki Spacia up 16%, the Mazda Flair up 55% and the Daihatsu Atrai Wagon up 115%. Reversely, the Daihatsu Cast is down 25%, the Suzuki Hustler down 27%, the Honda N-WGN down 33% and the Daihatsu Wake down 50%.

Previous month: Japan October 2017: New Leaf can’t prevent Nissan’s freefall at -43%

One year ago: Japan November 2016: Nissan Note e-powers through to pole position

Full November 2017 Top 55 All-brands, Top 30 regular cars and Top 35 kei cars below.

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