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Japan July 2020: Strong kei launches lift Suzuki (+10.6%), Daihatsu (+3.1%) in market down another -13.7%

The new generation Hustler helps Suzuki up 10.6% in July.

New car sales in Japan improve slightly on June (-22.9%) but remain down by double-digits year-on-year in July at -13.7% to 396.346 units, leading to a year-to-date volume down -18.9% to 2.604.122. Our 2020 Japan Forecast has now been adjusted to 4.44 million units (-15%). Brand leader Toyota (-16.1%) falls a little faster than its home market but its market share remains in line with its YTD level at 31.5%. There are only two year-on-year gainers in the Top 15 and they both rank on the podium: Suzuki soars by a very impressive 10.6% to 14.9% share vs. 13.5% so far this year while Daihatsu edges up 3.1% to 14.4% share vs. 12.6% year-to-date. These two performances are linked to strong kei cars volumes as we’ll see further down. Strikingly, all remaining Top 10 brands fall faster than the market, with Honda (-20.3%), Mazda (-21.2%) and Nissan (-21.5%) faring best but Mitsubishi (-37.4%) and Isuzu (-35.9%) hit hardest. Below, Audi (+3.7%) and Volvo (+2%) score the only two upticks in the Top 20, while among smaller brands (0.1% share and less) Morgan (+1100%), Rolls Royce (+20%), Scania (17.4%), Fiat (+10.4%) and Abarth (+7.2%) manage the only additional lifts.

The new model enables the Toyota Harrier to smash ranking and volume records in July.

The new Toyota Yaris reclaims the top spot in the regular cars charts for the third time in the past 4 months, selling over 14.000 units. We have to go back to March 2012 to find a better volume by its predecessor the Vitz (19.067). The Toyota Raize is knocked down to #2 but remains in the YTD lead for now with over 70.000 units having found a new home so far in 2020. Below the Toyota Corolla (+24.2%) very strong in third place, the Toyota Harrier (+173.3%) is boosted by a new generation to new record ranking (#4) and volume (9.388), its previous bests being #7 in November 2014 and 7.360 units in March 2017… The Honda Fit (+6.3%) and Toyota Alphard (+35.6%) complete a Top 6 entirely in positive, a striking feat in the current context. In the remainder of the Top 50, only the Suzuki Jimny Wagon (+237.5%), Honda CR-V (+13.7%), Suzuki Solio (+11.6%) and Mazda CX-3 (+10%) among to produce an uptick…

The Daihatsu Taft is an instant blockbuster: 11.400 sales in two months.

In the kei car ranking, the Honda N-BOX (-32.5%) remains in the lead despite losing one-third of its July 2019 volume, it distances the Suzuki Spacia (+5.1%), Daihatsu Tanto (-9.7%) and Move (-2.6%). Now onto the main culprits in the two brand’s stellar performances this month (see above): the Suzuki Hustler (+117.2%) more than doubles its sales year-on-year thanks to the new model and its direct competitor the Daihatsu Taft improves 24% on its launch month in June to 6.300. Notice also the Honda N-WGN (+2236.7%), Mazda Flair Crossover (+239.7%), Suzuki Jimny (+58%) and Subaru Chiffon (+40.9%) all posting spectacular gains.

Previous post: Japan First Half 2020: Now with Top 115 models

Previous month: Japan June 2020: Toyota Raize now #1 YTD, Suzuki Hustler, Daihatsu Taft and Mercedes G-Class impress in market down -22.9%

One year ago: Japan July 2019: Toyota Prius (+34.1%), Daihatsu Tanto (+35.6%) help market up 4.1%

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

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