* Updated with the Top 33 kei cars, Top 50 All-brands and Top 50 regular cars *
New light vehicle sales in Japan are back in positive in April at +3.2% year-on-year to 366.155 registrations, yet the year-to-date tally remains in negative at -1.3% to 1.906.848. Brand leader Toyota (-1.7%) is one of only three Top 10 manufacturers to put on the reverse gear year-on-year alongside Nissan (-0.5%) with Subaru hit by a steep 23.2% drop. The next three best-sellers all outpace the market, led by Suzuki (+9.2%) ahead of Honda (+8.2%) and Daihatsu (+4.6%). Lexus (+51.9%) splendidly posts the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 20 and returns into the Top 10, up 3 spots on March to #9. Hino (+37.1%), Volkswagen (+19.5%), Mazda (+15.6%) and Volvo (+13%) also impress in the remainder of the Top 20, while among smaller brands Lotus (+121.4%), Citroen (+112.4%), Alfa Romeo (+102.6%), McLaren (+90%), Lamborghini (+60%), Peugeot (+55%), Porsche (+44.5%), Rolls-Royce (+33.3%), Land Rover (+25.4%) and Abarth (+24.1%) shine.
Over in the regular car rankings, the Toyota Aqua soars 22% year-on-year to take the lead for the third time in the past 9 months along with last August and October, distancing the Toyota Prius (-16%) and Nissan Note (-15%). Year-to-date, the order is reversed with the Note #1 (-15%) above the Prius (-23%) and Aqua (-2%). The Toyota Roomy surges 32% to equal its highest ever ranking at #4, also hit last October. Its twin the Toyota Tank (+15%) also impresses at #10, keeping in mind that when adding Daihatsu Thor figures (#32) we arrive at 15.359 units or #1 overall, 62% above the Aqua with a 4th rebadge, the Subaru Justy, still missing. The Mazda CX-8 gains three spots on March to lead all recent launches (<12 months) at #26, just above the Suzuki Xbee hitting a new record #27 (+4), the Honda Civic at #33 (+8), the Lexus NX300 at #39 and the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross at #41 (-14).
Over in the kei car ranking, both the Honda N-BOX (+62%) and Suzuki Spacia (+64%) post tremendous year-on-year gain and dominate the charts as they do YTD. The next four best-sellers however are all in decline: the Daihatsu Move (-2%) distancing the Daihatsu Tanto (-14%), Suzuki Wagon R (-12%) and Nissan Dayz (-17%). In fact, the Daihatsu Mira (+72%) is the only other nameplate in positive in the remainder of the Top 10, also scoring the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 15. Other notable performers include the Daihatsu Atrai Wagon (+115%), Mazda Flair Wagon (+89%), Subaru Pleo (+63%) and Toyota Pixis (+63%).
One year ago: Japan April 2017: Toyota C-HR climbs into pole position
Full April 2018 Top 50 All-brands, Top 50 regular cars and Top 33 kei cars below.