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Japan May 2020: Virus stalls sales down -44.9% to lowest since March 2011 earthquake

The Toyota Yaris repeats at #1 in the regular car charts.

After losing -28.6% in April, in May the Japanese new vehicle market truly bares the brunt of the COVID-19 State of Emergency that was only lifted in all regions on May 25, as well as the associated factory closures. Sales are down -44.9% year-on-year to just 218.285 units, the steepest fall and lowest volume in 9 years. This is the deepest market depression in Japan since sales collapsed in the aftermath of the 11 March 2011 earthquake. For reference, new car sales were down -37% in March 2011 to 279.389 units, -47,3% in April 2011 to 185.673 and -33.3% in May 2011 to 200.461. Previous to this event, Japan endured its steepest ever market collapse in May 1974 at – 55% during the oil-supply crunch. The year-to-date tally is now down -19.2% to 1.860.404 units. We have adjusted our  2020 Japan forecast down from 4.4m to 4.3m units, -17% instead of -15%.

Lexus (-8.2%) resists best in the Top 20, with the UX250H at a record #36.

Toyota (-34.2%) once again resists better than its home market, resulting in a significantly inflated market share at 36.5% vs. just 31.2% so far in 2020. Honda (-45.1%) virtually matches the market at #2 but Suzuki (-56.7%) is struggling even though it gains one spot on April to return to the #3 spot it holds year-to-date. Nissan (-44.9%) is also up one to #4, both carmakers leapfrogging past Daihatsu (-56.4%). Lexus (-8.2%) and to a lesser extent Hino (-16.5%) both seem to be relatively unscathed by the COVID-19 crisis, while Mitsubishi Fuso (-30.8%) and Isuzu (-32.3%) contain their losses somewhat but Subaru (-69.8%), Mitsubishi (-65.3%) and Mazda (-50.1%) are hit hard. Mercedes (-40.7%) tops foreign carmakers as usual, distancing BMW (-53.9%), Volkswagen (-57.4%) and Audi (-45.7%). Further down, Ferrari (+88.9%) and Lotus (+33.3%) defy the market slump with stellar progressions, while Ford (-5.6%), Abarth (-7.8%), Porsche (-25.7%), Peugeot (-30.4%) and Volvo (-33.3%) resist somewhat.

Ferrari ignores the COVID-19 crisis and shoots up 88.9% year-on-year.

The new Toyota Yaris repeats at #1 in the regular car ranking and is joined at #2 by another fellow recent launch, the Toyota Raize. The Honda Fit (+10.8%) is up year-on-year thanks to a new generation but down one spot on last month to #3, a ranking it also holds YTD. The Toyota Corolla remains at #4 and is still #1 so far in 2020. In fact after placing 10 nameplates in the Top 12 last month, Toyota has 6 models in the Top 7: add the Alphard (+10.6%), Sienta (-42.7%) and Roomy (-52%). The Toyota Prius (-68.2%) and Nissan Note (-56.9%) endure the harshest declines in the Top 10. The Daihatsu Rocky (#20), Mazda2 (#21), Mazda CX-30 (#31) and Mazda3 (#33) are the other recent launches making it into the Top 50. Lexus justifies its exceptional hold by placing a record 6 nameplates in the May Top 50: the UX250H (-13.8%) up to a record #36, the NX300H (+119.4%) breaking into the Top 40 for the first time at #39, the RX450H (+93.2%), RX300 (+113.1%), NX300 (+44.2%) and ES300H (-63.9%).

The Nissan Roox is up to #4 kei car in May.

The kei car charts is completely reshuffled due to particularly weak Daihatsu sales. The Honda N-BOX (-47.6%) sells over 2.5 times more than any vehicle in the segment, with the Daihatsu Mira (-43.4%) and Suzuki Spacia (-67.2%) rounding out the podium. Nissan usually places two vehicles in the Top 5: the newly relaunched Nissan Roox shooting up 7 spots on April to #4 and the Dayz is up five to #5. Suzuki posts strong holds with the Jimny (-13.8%) at #10 and the Hustler (-19.2%) at #6, much less so wth the WagonR (-52.4%) at #7 whereas the Daihatsu Move (-77.4%) and Tanto (-77.3%) are obliterated. Further down, the Mazda Flair Crossover (+46.1%) secures the only year-on-year gain in the category for the month while the Subaru Pleo (-3%) and Honda S660 (-17.3%) resist.

Previous month: Japan April 2020: Toyota Yaris scores first win in 14 years in market caught up by COVID-19 at -28.6%

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

Full May 2020 Top 55 All-brands, Top 50 regular cars and Top 35 All kei cars below.

Japan May 2020 – brands:

PosBrandMay-20%/19Apr2020%/19PosFY19
1Toyota79,71036.5%-34.2%1581,19931.2%-12.6%11
2Honda32,75315.0%-45.1%2264,87114.2%-21.2%22
3Suzuki23,50910.8%-56.7%4242,85513.1%-25.0%33
4Nissan22,25210.2%-44.9%5196,38110.6%-24.8%55
5Daihatsu20,9999.6%-56.4%3231,02012.4%-20.6%44
6Mazda7,0573.2%-50.1%678,9054.2%-12.4%66
7Isuzu3,8031.7%-32.3%828,0491.5%-18.1%99
8Lexus3,7521.7%-8.2%1021,7211.2%-20.7%1112
9Hino3,7371.7%-16.5%925,1481.4%-13.7%1010
10Mitsubishi2,7601.3%-65.3%1132,4661.7%-34.9%88
11Subaru2,7131.2%-69.8%745,1472.4%-21.4%77
12Mercedes2,6941.2%-40.7%1320,3831.1%-20.3%1211
13Mitsubishi Fuso2,0951.0%-30.8%1215,9730.9%-3.2%1315
14BMW1,7060.8%-53.9%1412,6000.7%-31.4%1513
15Volkswagen1,6050.7%-57.4%1515,2360.8%-21.0%1414
16Audi1,0720.5%-45.7%187,4630.4%-15.8%1616
17Mini1,0480.5%-50.1%166,7620.4%-31.4%1717
18Volvo1,0250.5%-33.3%176,4880.3%-13.0%1818
19Jeep6810.3%-40.3%194,6120.2%6.1%1919
20UD Trucks5910.3%-23.6%203,3690.2%-12.2%2121
21Peugeot5140.2%-30.4%223,5070.2%-18.3%2020
22Porsche4560.2%-25.7%212,9610.2%22.2%2222
23Renault3140.1%-36.3%232,4830.1%-23.0%2323
24Fiat2670.1%-50.5%252,0070.1%-22.7%2424
25Abarth2260.1%-7.8%271,0460.1%-13.7%2728
26Citroen1900.1%-53.7%241,6270.1%14.2%2526
27Land Rover1310.1%-44.7%261,5130.1%-17.1%2625
28Ferrari1020.0%88.9%294810.0%57.2%3033
29Jaguar930.0%-50.5%315800.0%-63.8%2827
30Alfa Romeo600.0%-69.2%305590.0%-46.3%2929
31Lamborghini490.0%-40.2%283430.0%15.5%3134
32Maserati350.0%-63.2%352870.0%-38.1%3231
33DS350.0%-58.3%362540.0%-1.9%3332
34Ford340.0%-5.6%321920.0%0.5%3537
35Bentley230.0%-53.1%341540.0%-30.9%3736
36Scania230.0%43.8%371470.0%36.1%3842
37Cadillac220.0%-47.6%392010.0%3.6%3438
38Dodge200.0%-45.9%331450.0%-1.4%3939
39Lotus200.0%33.3%401050.0%19.3%4245
40Chevrolet160.0%-63.6%381180.0%-54.3%4035
41McLaren140.0%-68.9%43880.0%-43.6%4340
42Rolls-Royce100.0%-41.2%44720.0%-5.3%4543
43Alpina80.0%-60.0%46650.0%-18.8%4644
44StreetScooter60.0%new411820.0%new36 –
45Aston Martin60.0%-79.3%42820.0%-42.7%4441
46GMC60.0%500.0%47190.0%46.2%4847
47Smart30.0%-98.6%481160.0%-90.7%4130
48Morgan20.0%100.0%49160.0%45.5%4949
49Hyundai10.0%-83.3%51140.0%-12.5%5046
50Chrysler10.0%0.0%5290.0%-25.0%5148
51MG10.0%-50.0%4590.0%50.0%5250
52Lancia10.0%-50.0%5060.0%20.0%5352
53Buick10.0%n/a –40.0%33.3%5451
54Maybach10.0%n/a –10.0%n/a5759
55Unimog00.0%n/a –230.0%360.0%4753

Japan May 2020 – regular cars:

PosModelMay-20/19Apr2020/19PosFY19
1Toyota Yaris10,388new137,162new4 –
2Toyota Raize7,916new745,669new240
3Honda Fit7,23510.8%241,01312.6%312
4Toyota Corolla6,450-11.8%447,83421.4%14
5Toyota Alphard5,75010.6%629,762-1.4%1213
6Toyota Sienta4,344-42.7%336,879-14.1%53
7Toyota Roomy3,713-52.0%832,392-12.9%87
8Honda Freed3,612-45.1%533,249-11.8%79
9Toyota Prius3,499-68.2%932,062-44.9%91
10Nissan Note3,470-56.9%1335,697-36.8%62
11Toyota Aqua3,453-56.0%1031,547-38.9%105
12Toyota Voxy3,418-46.5%1129,006-28.0%138
13Nissan Serena3,012-53.2%1630,311-33.1%116
14Toyota Tank2,511-59.9%1225,715-15.0%1411
15Toyota RAV42,382-65.1%1422,884129.9%1516
16Toyota Noah2,012-48.2%1517,635-28.4%1617
17Toyota Passo1,979-35.7%2113,542-31.4%2522
18Honda Vezel1,643-65.9%1815,455-43.4%2014
19Toyota C-HR1,595-62.1%1916,556-40.6%1815
20Daihatsu Rocky1,589new2215,295new21n/a
21Mazda21,510new2812,905new2645
22Toyota Esquire1,442-55.3%2014,572-24.0%2221
23Toyota Vellfire1,378-51.4%249,505-46.6%3423
24Honda StepWGN1,308-66.8%3013,973-43.4%2418
25Toyota Harrier1,165-60.2%259,531-45.9%3325
26Suzuki Solio1,142-70.2%1716,850-21.2%1719
27Honda Shuttle1,060-60.2%347,232-31.8%3930
28Toyota Crown1,038-57.8%2910,043-47.5%2926
29Toyota Land Cruiser W1,027-46.5%318,773-35.4%3731
30Nissan X-Trail1,005-63.0%389,779-50.8%3124
31Mazda CX-30960new2714,548new2350
32Subaru Impreza875-71.1%2316,474-16.9%1920
33Mazda3848-49.6%358,780422.0%3634
34Mazda CX-5831-62.2%3611,705-34.8%2829
35Suzuki Jimny Wagon82729.4%445,003-14.6%4347
36Lexus UX250H751-13.8%483,860-38.7%4642
37Daihatsu Thor687-57.0%379,196-34.5%3532
38Suzuki Swift680-73.5%2611,780-28.3%2727
39Lexus NX300H645119.4%n/an/an/an/an/a
40Suzuki Xbee611-69.1%337,296-38.3%3835
41Subaru Forester568-77.5%329,811-35.0%3028
42Mazda CX-8523-61.0%476,435-51.6%4036
43Toyota Camry503-73.9%405,400-44.4%4139
44Toyota Hiace501-32.6%42n/an/an/a48
45Honda Odyssey436-55.6%393,935-41.8%4541
46Lexus RX450H42993.2%41n/an/an/an/a
47Lexus RX300424113.1%43n/an/an/an/a
48Lexus NX30040844.2%n/an/an/an/an/a
49Honda Civic384-59.9%46n/an/an/an/a
50Lexus ES300H364-63.9%n/an/an/an/a46

Japan May 2020 – kei cars:

PosModelMay-20/19Apr2020/19PosFY19
1Honda N-BOX11,655-47.6%185,897-20.2%11
2Daihatsu Mira4,504-43.4%532,242-31.7%66
3Suzuki Spacia4,392-67.2%453,251-30.8%33
4Nissan Roox3,911new1114,412new12 –
5Nissan Dayz3,849-67.6%1048,641-25.5%44
6Suzuki Hustler3,529-19.2%729,53814.1%89
7Suzuki WagonR3,322-52.4%825,983-42.0%107
8Daihatsu Tanto2,497-77.3%254,990-20.8%22
9Daihatsu Move2,113-77.4%343,540-25.1%55
10Suzuki Jimny2,046-13.8%1510,253-28.3%1313
11Suzuki Alto1,621-69.6%927,472-17.6%98
12Mitsubishi eK1,331-62.7%1315,491-30.1%1110
13Honda N-WGN1,052-52.5%630,49839.6%712
14Toyota Pixis922-57.4%126,381-40.7%1614
15Daihatsu Wake893-49.9%146,974-35.2%1515
16Suzuki Every Wagon345-73.0%176,252-19.9%1716
17Mazda Flair Crossover33646.1%191,97720.6%2127
18Subaru Pleo328-3.0%241,618-18.6%2525
19Mazda Flair260-52.1%212,830-10.6%1919
20Daihatsu Atrai Wagon259-37.3%201,925-20.8%2223
21Daihatsu Cast254-90.9%168,949-52.8%1411
22Mazda Flair Wagon253-78.2%184,703-23.1%1818
23Honda S660211-17.3%281,101-20.0%2828
24Daihatsu Copen191-25.7%251,166-17.8%2726
25Nissan NV100 Clipper Rio165-57.8%271,743-9.5%2424
26Subaru Chiffon108-56.6%232,04112.1%2020
27Toyota Copen GR Sport77new29853new3031
28Mazda Carol76-80.5%261,813-21.8%2322
29Subaru Stella38-90.5%221,515-38.0%2621
30Honda N-ONE38-97.1%301,023-86.3%2917
31Mitsubishi Town Box26-36.6%32246-18.8%3230
32Mazda Scrum Wagon19-80.4%31352-34.5%3129
33Subaru Dias Wagon0-100.0%33102-50.7%3332
34Subaru R20n/a341n/a34 –
35Mitsubishi i-MiEV0n/a –0-100.0%3533

Sources: JADA, JMVA, JAIA

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