Japan February 2019: Kei cars trust Top 4 again, Toyota Corolla shines in market up 1.2%
Daihatsu Tanto sales soar 17.4% year-on-year in February.
The Japanese new car market scores another positive month in February with sales edging up 1.2% year-on-year to 479.428 units, meaning the year-to-date volume is now up 1.6% to 887.403. Brand leader Toyota (+1.8%) outpaces the market to snatch a 28.1% share, distancing Honda (+1.1%), Suzuki (+4.7%) and Daihatsu (+5.1%) for a Top 4 entirely in positive with Nissan (-6.3%) and Mazda (+6.5%) in tow for a Top 6 unchanged on January and FY2018. Commercial brands Hino (+11.2%) and Isuzu (+10.6%) are the only double-digit gainers in the Top 10 just as Mitsubishi (+6.5%) also post as sturdy result but Subaru (-11.3%) and Lexus (-11.2%) both skid down. Mercedes (+1.5%) is the most popular foreigner at #12 overall, followed by Volkswagen (+1%), BMW (+0.5%) and Mini (-1%). Smart (+168.8%), Bentley )(+125%), McLaren (+84.6%), Citroen (+80.8%), Jaguar (+67.4%), Ford (+56.3%), DS (+47.2%), Land Rover (+41.3%), Ferrari (+26.2%), Abarth (+20.5%), Fiat (+19.9%), Porsche (+9.1%), Peugeot (+7%) and Volvo (+6.4%) are among the best performers further down.
The new Sport hatch pushes Toyota Corolla sales up 21.9%.
In the regular cars ranking, the Nissan Note (-6.2%) signs a 9th win in the past 20 months and 2nd consecutive pole position, resisting the gains of the Toyota Prius (+3.1%), Aqua (+1%) and Nissan Serena (+5%), the only other cars recording a five-digit sales figure for the month. Boosted by the new generation hatch, the Toyota Corolla (+21.9%) posts the largest gain in the Top 10 and one of only two double-digit upticks alongside the Toyota Voxy (+11.2%), The Toyota Vitz (+9%) and Sienta (+6.9%) are also solid while further down the Suzuki Jimny Sierra (+1334.6%), Mazda CX-5 (+462.9%), Toyota Crown (+109.2%), Subaru Forester (+105.4%), Daihatsu Boon (+71.3%), Thor (+55.4%), Mitsubishi Delica D5 (+31.1%), Toyota Alphard (+24%), Esquire (+13.9%) and Suzuki Swift (+13.3%) also impress. The Honda CR-V is the best-selling new or reborn nameplate at #38 ahead of the Honda Insight (#44), Lexus UX250H (#45) and Lexus ES300H (#48).
The new model lifts Mitsubishi Delica D5 sales up 31.1%
Kei cars confirm their domination of the Japanese models charts this month: like in January, the 4 best-selling models in the country are all kei cars with the Nissan Note coming in at a weak 5th place. The Honda N-BOX (-7.3%) hits the breaks in February but keeps a 6.500 unit-advantage over the Suzuki Spacia (+16.2%) just as the Daihatsu Tanto (+17.4%) steps up to the podium, knocking down the Nissan Dayz (+1.7%). Other double-digit gainers are rare in the Top 20: only the Suzuki Jimny kei car version (+64.9%), Daihatsu Mira (+26.2%) and Honda N-ONE (+12.7%) also manage this feat. At the tail end of the ranking, the Mazda Flair Crossover (+33.7%), Daihatsu Copen (+19.8%) and Honda S660 (+13.7%) stand out.
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Previous month: Japan January 2019: Kei cars dominate models ranking, Suzuki Spacia and Nissan Serena strong
One year ago: Japan February 2018: Nissan Note repeats, Lexus and Mitsubishi soar
Full February 2019 Top 53 All-brands, Top 50 regular cars and Top 33 All kei cars below.