* NOW UPDATED with the Top 55 All-brands, Top 50 regular cars, Top 33 kei cars and Top 20 foreigners *
The Japanese new car market disappoints once again with a 6th consecutive year-on-year decline at -3.5% to 667.275 registrations, pulling the year-to-date tally down 2.3% to 1.540.691 units. Brand leader Toyota is hit a lot harder at -9.9% to 27% share, with the Top 8 best-sellers unchanged on February and the YTD order. Mitsubishi once again is the best performer with a 21.7% surge and Daihatsu (+4%), Mazda (+2.2%) and Honda (+1.1%) are also in positive but Subaru (-9.2%), Nissan (-6.6%) and Suzuki (-1%) all decline. Further down, Lexus (+38.1%) posts the largest gain in the Top 20, with McLaren (+136.4%), Alpina (+78.9%), Alfa Romeo (+69.7%), Lotus (+68.4%), Land Rover (+58.8%), Chevrolet (+58.1%), Cadillac (+44.3%), Citroen (+21.8%), Peugeot (+14.9%) and Porsche (+10.8%) also showing great form.
In the regular cars ranking, the Nissan Note manages a third consecutive month in pole position despite a steep 21% year-on-year, making it 8 monthly wins for this generation Note, starting in November 2016. The Toyota Prius freefalls 30% but remains in 2nd place while the Nissan Serena (+3%) overtakes the Toyota Aqua (+17%) to climb onto the third step of the podium. The Honda Fit (+8%) rounds up the Top 5, followed by the Toyota Voxy (+15%) while the remainder of the Top 10 all post double-digit declines, the hardest hit being the Toyota C-HR (-35%). Further down, the Honda StepWGN (+49%), Toyota Alphard (+46%), Land Cruiser (+104%), Camry (+1020%), Nissan Leaf (+91%), Daihatsu Thor (+76%) and Lexus NX300H (+126%) post the largest gains in the Top 50. Launched last month, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross shoots up to #27 for its 1st full month of sales, becoming the #1 recent launch (<12 months) above the Mazda CX-8 (#29), Suzuki Xbee (#31), Honda Civic (#41) and Lexus LS500H (#50).
Over in the kei cars ranking, the Honda N-BOX remains the dominant force in the segment and the overall market as a 3% year-on-year gain propels it to 26.851 units and the best-selling vehicle in the country. The Suzuki Spacia (+24%) and Daihatsu Move (+16%) both overtake the Nissan Dayz (-14%) to rank 2nd and 3rd respectively for the month, while the Daihatsu Tanto (-18%) closes out the Top 5 but posts the steepest decline in the Top 10. Below the Suzuki Wagon R up 3%, the Daihatsu Mira on the other hand signs the largest year-on-year improvement among the ten best-selling kei cars in March at +44%. Further down, notice the Honda N-ONE (+205%), Daihatsu Atrai Wagon (+137%), Mazda Flair Wagon (+64%), Subaru Pleo (+53%) and Toyota Pixis (+28%) all significantly higher than a year ago.
As is the tradition every quarter we have access to foreign models ranking in Japan, and over the First Quarter of 2018, and it’s a mini-event on top: for only the second time in the past eight quarters, the VW Golf (+2%) takes the lead, knocking the Mini (+2%) to 2nd place. The Mercedes C-Class, E-Class and BMW 3 Series round out the Top 5, replicating the Q4 2017 and FY2017 orders. The Volvo V40 shoots back up 6 spots on Q4 2017 to #6 ahead of the BMW X1 and VW Polo. The Mercedes GLC (+29%), A Class (+18%) and BMW 5 Series (+12%) all post very solid gains. We have two new arrivals in the Foreign Top 20: the Audi Q2 leaps directly to #16 while the VW Tiguan is propelled by its new generation to #18.
One year ago: Japan March 2017: Nissan Note reclaims top spot
Full March 2018 Top 55 All-brands, Top 50 regular cars, Top 33 kei cars and Q1 Top 20 foreigners below.