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Japan May 2019: Toyota (+13.4%), Honda (+15.5%) lift market up 6.5%, RAV4 leaps to #1 SUV

The Toyota Prius is now the best-selling regular car in Japan year-to-date.

The Japanese new car market scores a 4th year-on-year gain so far this year, advancing 6.5% in May to 396.120 units, meaning the year-to-date tally is now up 1.1% to 2.303.022. The Top 2 most popular brand lift the market up significantly: Toyota soars 13.4% to 30.6% share vs. 28.9% so far this year and Honda surges 15.5% to 15.1% share vs. 14.6%. Mitsubishi (+22.2%) and Isuzu (+15.4%) post the two other double-digit gains in the Top 10, with Daihatsu (+7.8%) also outpacing its home market but Subaru (+5.3%), Suzuki (+0.4%), Nissan (-2.9%) and Mazda (-12.8%) underperforming. Despite a sizeable drop (-4.8%), Mercedes returns to the Top 10 to continue leading foreign brands. Further down, McLaren (+164.7%), Bentley (+133.3%), DS (+121.1%), Lamborghini (+115.8%), Aston Martin (+93.3%), Citroen (+90.7%), Porsche (+49.8%), Jeep (+26.7%), Alfa Romeo (+24.2%), Renault (+13.6%) and Fiat (+12.8%) stand out.

The Toyota RAV4 is the #1 SUV in Japan for its 2nd month in market.

In the regular cars ranking, the Toyota Prius (+19.3%) repeats at #1 and snaps the YTD lead off the Nissan Note (-6.9%) thanks to its late 2018 facelift. Toyota places 6 nameplates in the Top 7 with the Aqua (-24%), Roomy (+8.9%), Sienta (+30.8%), Corolla (+31.9%) and the surprise of the month: the all-new RAV4 returning to its home country and up 16 spots on its inaugural month directly to #7 and best-selling SUV with 6.817 sales above the Honda Vezel (#15), Toyota C-HR (#16), Toyota Harrier (#23) and Nissan X-Trail (#25). The Subaru Forester (+206.3%), Toyota Crown (+183.9%), Camry (+51.8%), Mitsubishi Delica D5 (+49.5%) and Toyota Alphard (+28.5%) also shine, as we welcome the new Mazda3 at #35 (it finally abandoned its Axela naming at home), with the Honda CR-V (#40), Lexus ES300H (#41) and UX250H (#44) the other recent launches (<12 months) inside the May Top 50.

The Mazda Atenza is reborn as the Mazda3 in Japan and ranks #35.

Once again the best-selling kei cars, these vehicles limited in size, engine power and taxes, outsell regular cars: the Honda N-BOX (+18.1%) sells over double the Prius, and the Suzuki Spacia (+18.5%), Nissan Dayz (+39.1%) and Daihatsu Tanto (+14.8%) also outsell it. The Suzuki Jimny (+237.1%), Mitsubishi eK (+36.6%) and Daihatsu Mira (+12.5%) are strong.

Previous month: Japan April 2019: Toyota Prius back on top, RAV4 lands in market up 3.4%

One year ago: Japan May 2018: Toyota Aqua repeats at #1, Suzuki, Lexus impress

Full May 2019 Top 55 All-brands, Top 50 regular cars and Top 30 All-kei cars below.

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