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Japan September 2020: Toyota Yaris sails off, Suzuki (+1.5%), Isuzu (+7.5%) resist in 11th double-digit market fall in past 12 months (-14.3%)

We believe the new Yaris Cross is included in the Yaris volumes in Japan.

New car sales in Japan endure an 11th double-digit year-on-year fall in the past 12 months in September at a ghastly -14.3% to 469.705 registrations, leading to a year-to-date volume off -18.1% or almost 750.000 units over the same period in 2019 to 3.400.266. We had anticipated a significant fall for September in Japan and therefore we are only slightly adjusting our 2020 Japan Forecast down from 4.37 to 4.35 million units, still off -16% on 2019. Brand leader Toyota (-6.1%) manages to fall half as fast as its home market to hold 31% share, in line with the 31.1% it commands YTD. Suzuki (+1.5%) once again bucks the negative trend to score one of only two year-on-year gains among the Top 20 brands, the other one being Isuzu (+7.5%) at #8 overall. As a result Suzuki advances to #2 year-to-date also, toppling Honda (-18.6%) while Daihatsu (-19.3%), Nissan (-20.3%), Mazda (-26%) and Subaru (-44.7%) all struggle in the remainder of the Top 8. Mercedes (-10.8%) rejoins the Top 10 at #9, still by far the best-selling foreign brand in Japan above Volkswagen (-17.5%) at #12, BMW (-21.3%) at #13 and Audi (-1.8%) at #16.

The Nissan Kicks breaks into the Top 20 for the first time.

In the regular cars ranking, the Toyota Yaris shoots up to over 22.000 sales for the month, leaping two spots to also grab the YTD pole position with over 96.000 units sold in just 8 months. Its September volume surpasses the all-time record of its predecessor the Toyota Vitz at 19.067 in March 2012. We believe the new Yaris Cross is included in the Yaris total which may explain this month’s surge. The Toyota Corolla (+22.9%) climbs back up one spot on August to #2, leaving the Toyota Raize #3 and #2 YTD. Toyota monopolises the September Top 5 with the Alphard (+60%) and Harrier (+130.8%) also ensuring the entire Top 5 is either new or with at least double-digit year-on-year gains. The Honda Fit (+25.1%) and Suzuki Jimny Wagon (+99.6%) are the only additional gainers in the Top 50. Meanwhile among recent launches (<12 months) the Nissan Kicks slices its August ranking in two and breaks into the Top 20 for the first time at #19, the Daihatsu Rocky remains at #22, the Mazda CX-30 is up one to #25 and the Mazda MX-30 lands directly at #50.

The Mazda MX-30 has landed inside the Japanese Top 50.

Over in the kei cars ranking, the Honda N-BOX (-34.6%) easily keeps the lead in spite of a steep year-on-year fall, distancing the Suzuki Spacia (-1%) and Daihatsu Tanto (-45.6%) like in August and YTD. The Nissan Roox is up two spots on August to #4 and crosses the 10.000 monthly unit-mark for the first time since the nameplate was relaunched in March. The Honda N-WGN (+323.2%), Suzuki Jimny (+51.6%), Hustler (+12.3%) and Suzuki Alto (+4.5%) all shine in the Top 15 while the new Daihatsu Taft remains in the Top 10 for now at #10. The Mini lineup (-10.4%) remains the most popular foreign “nameplate” over Q3 with the VW Golf (-48.6%) and Mercedes A-Class (-36.2%) in total perdition. The VW T-Cross advances to a splendid 4th place, while the Volvo 60-Series (+9.1%) is the only gainer in the Top 10 at #8. We have two newcomers in the Top 20: the VW T-Roc landing directly at #10 and the Mercedes GLB at #13. The Jeep Renegade is up two on Q2 to #17 while the Mercedes GLA returns to the Top 20 at #18.

The VW T-Roc instantly lands inside the Top 10 foreigners in Q3.

Previous month: Japan August 2020: Suzuki (+7.1%), Mazda (-3%), Toyota (-9.2%) stand out, sales stuck at -16%

One year ago: Japan September 2019: Lexus (+117.7%), Daihatsu (+31.2%), Toyota (+23.4%) lift market to strongest gain in over 2 years (+12.9%)

Full September 2020 Top 58 All-brands, Top 50 regular cars, Top 35 All kei cars and Q3 2020 Top 20 foreign models below.

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