* NOW UPDATED with the Top 35 kei cars *
* See the Top 52 All-brands and Top 30 cars by clicking on the title *
The Japanese new car market edges down 0.5% year-on-year in January to 399.540 registrations, with the two best-selling brands in negative: Toyota drops 6.5% to 26.7% share vs. 30.3% over the Full Year 2017 and Honda is down 5.2% to 14.1%, albeit slightly better than the 13.8% it held in FY2017. Below is a string of four manufacturers gaining ground on a year ago: Nissan (+0.9%), Daihatsu (+11.3%), Suzuki (+5.4%) and Mazda (+4.5%). Lexus (+59.7%) and Mitsubishi (+13.4%) post the biggest year-on-year gains in the Top 10 while Subaru (-21.7%) endures the largest drop. Mercedes (+2.5%) remains the most popular foreign carmakers but drops four spots on December to #12, followed at a distance by Volkswagen (-10.8%), BMW (-19.5%) and Audi (-8.6%). Peugeot (+89%), Aston Martin (+78.6%), Chevrolet (+54.5%), Ferrari (+51.2%), Renault (+29.6%), Bentley (+21.4%) and Jeep (+20.5%) are the most dynamic further down the ranking.
Over in the regular car aisle, the Nissan Note returns to #1 for the first time since last September and the 6th in total for this generation, starting in November 2016. This month it has a 3.180 sales-advantage over the Toyota Prius, its largest gap on the #2 so far. The Toyota Voxy (+14%), Honda Fit (+12%) and Toyota Aqua (+6%) post robust gains while the Toyota Roomy (+5%) and Tank (+6%) tandem of twins continues to impress, adding up to 12.253 sales which would place them in 2nd position overall. It’s a bad month for SUVs: all leaders in the segment fall flat in January: the Toyota C-HR (-40%), Harrier (-31%) and Honda Vezel (-43%).
One SUV that has started its career flamboyantly is the Mazda CX-8 breaking into the Top 30 for the first time at #25. The Toyota Land Cruiser continues to feel the effects of its facelift, up 70% to #29 while the Camry is on another planet vs. the previous model: +966% to #30. But the hero of the month is the Nissan Leaf: up 163% on the previous gen to #19, its highest ranking at home also hit last October. It is the Leaf’s fifth time ever inside the monthly Top 30, including three for this gen – October 2017 (#19), December 2017 (#27) and January 2018 (#19) and two for the first gen – February 2011 (#25) and January 2016 (#28).
In the kei cars aisle, the Honda N-BOX (+9%) remains dominant, but this month it is followed by the Nissan Dayz (+31%) and Daihatsu Tanto (-8%) while the Daihatsu Move, #2 in 2017, is down 2% to #4. The Suzuki Spacia (+33%), Wagon R (+251%) and Daihatsu Mira (+57%) are next, all posting spectacular year-on-year gains. Notice also the Daihatsu Atrai Wagon (+141%), Mazda Flair (+114%), Nissan NV100 (+51%) and Honda N-ONE (+26%) all signing very healthy increases.
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Full January 2018 Top 52 All-brands, Top 30 cars and Top 35 kei cars below.