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Japan July 2018: Lexus (+30.8%), Mitsubishi (+20.8%) lift market up

The Toyota Crown scores its first Top 10 in almost 3 years thanks to the new generation.

* Now updated with the Top 62 brands, Top 50 regular cars and Top 33 kei cars *

New car sales in Japan rise 3.3% year-on-year in July to 441.534 registrations, the 2nd gain in the past 10 months alongside last April (+3.2%) and the largest uplift since last September (+3.9%), which means the year-to-date volume has every right to remain in negative territory at -1.1% to 3.174.012 units. Brand leader Toyota (+3.6%) roughly follows its home market at a towering 31.2% share vs. 28.5% so far in 2018 (-7.5%), but in the remainder of the podium both Honda (+9.9%) and Suzuki (+9.3%) post very dynamic gains ahead of Daihatsu (+0.8%) and Nissan (-0.3%) very shy on either side of the balance. Like last month, Mitsubishi (+20.8%) scores the largest uplift in the Top 10 (even the Top 12) whereas Subaru (-16.1%) and Mazda (-10.5%) are in grave difficulty.

The new generation hatch propels the Toyota Corolla up 52% in July at home.

With Isuzu (-5.1%) back up to #9, there are no foreigners in the Top 10 as Mercedes (-8%) and BMW (+4.6%) dominate at #11 and #12 respectively ahead of a very strong Volkswagen (+17.7%). Let’s also salute DS (+175%), Alfa Romeo (+160.9%), Land Rover (+66.5%), Porsche (+47.4%), Peugeot (+34.2%), Jeep (+31.4%), Lexus (+30.8%) among the fastest shooters. Over in the regular cars ranking, despite falling slightly the Toyota Aqua (-3%) celebrates a 4th consecutive pole position, a feat it hadn’t achieved since November 2015. However, 433 sales below in July the Nissan Note (-9%) remains in the YTD lead with a 6.800 unit-strong advantage over the Aqua. The Toyota Vitz (+60%) scores its highest ranking in a year (since June 2017) at #3 and the Toyota Corolla (+52%) its highest since last November at #4 thanks to the arrival of the new gen hatch. Reversely, the Toyota Prius (-19%) falls to its lowest ranking since November 2015 at #5.

The Suzuki Jimmy Sierra cracks the Japanese Top 50 as soon as its new gen launches.

The Nissan Serena (+38%) and Toyota Roomy (+29%) also shine but the best performer is the Toyota Crown (+233%) propelled up by its new generation to its first Top 10 finish in almost 3 years (since November 2015). Further down the ranking the relaunched Honda Civic (+9900%), Lexus NX300H (+556%), Subaru Levorg (+224%), Nissan Leaf (+75%), Subaru Forester (+50%) and Honda SteWGN (+49%) all make waves, but our personal favourite is the Suzuki Jimmy Sierra whose fourth generation has just launched after 20 years stuck in third, cracking the Top 50 for its first month at #50 vs. #96 over the Full Year 2017. There are 4 all-new nameplates in the July Top 50, led by the Suzuki Xbee at #30, Mazda CX-8 at #33, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross at #46 and Toyota JPN Taxi at #49. Note that a slightly shorter version of the new gen Suzuki Jimny shoots up 425% to break into the kei car Top 10 this month.

Previous post: Japan First Half 2018: Nissan Note set for historical annual win

Previous month: Japan June 2018: Lexus, Mazda defy market down 5%, Toyota down 16.3%

One year ago: Japan July 2017: Nissan Note reclaims top spot, Toyota C-HR down

Full July 2018 Top 50 brands, Top 50 regular cars and Top 33 kei cars below.

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