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Japan March 2021: Nissan (+17.4%), Peugeot (+51.3%), Jeep (+35.7%) headline market up 5.4%

Nissan (+17.4%) posts the largest year-on-year gain among the Top 15 brands. Picture

New vehicle sales in Japan gain 5.4% year-on-year in March to 613.003 units, leading to a Q1 2021 tally up 4.2% to 1.429.743. Brand leaders Toyota (+6.6%) and Suzuki (+8.2%) both advance faster than the market unlike Honda (+3.2%) and Daihatsu (+2%) below. In 5th place, Nissan (+17.4%) manages the only double-digit gain in the Top 15, with Mitsubishi (+8%) also beating the market in the remainder of the Top 10 but Hino (-5.7%) and Mazda (-4%) both hit a wall. Mercedes (-8%) remains the best-selling foreign mark despite losing significant ground, it distances BMW (-0.1%) and a frefalling Volkswagen (-32.6%). In contrast, Citroen (+70.1%), Alfa Romeo (+53.6%), Peugeot (+51.3%), Jeep (+35.7%), Audi (+23.9%), Land Rover (+18.2%), Renault (+15.7%), UD Trucks (+12%) and Mini (+10.1%) all post fantastic gains further down.

In the regular cars charts, the Toyota Yaris (+116.2%) sails off into the distance with just under 28.500 sales, making it the best-selling vehicle overall above all Kei cars this month. Keep in mind this volume includes the Yaris Cross. The Toyota Roomy (+70.1%) and Alphard (+77.4%) continue to benefit from the discontinuation of their respective twins while the Nissan Note (+21.4%) is starting to feel the effects of its new generation coming online and is back up 3 spots on February to #4. A new generation also propels the Toyota Harrier up 258.6% at #7. Reversely, the Honda Fit (-37.8%) and Toyota Corolla (-22.4%) are in difficulty. Further down, great performers include the Subaru Levorg (+263.4%), Mazda CX-3 (+226.8%), Honda Odyssey (+121.9%), Suzuki Jimny Wagon (+99.9%), Honda Civic (+98.4%), Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (+97.9%), Mazda CX-8 (+76.9%), Toyota Land Cruiser W (+55.7%), Mitsubishi Delica D5 (+47.1%) and Honda StepWGN (+36.8%).

The Peugeot 208 is inside the Top 20 foreign models over Q1 2021.

Looking at the kei cars ranking, both the Honda N-BOX (+23%) and Suzuki Spacia (+21.8%) progress faster than the market, leaving the Daihatsu Tanto (-1.7%) stranded. The Top 6 is unchanged on last month and YTD with the Nissan Roox (+80.5%) scoring the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 13, the Suzuki Hustler (+7.5%) edging past the overall market growth and the Daihatsu Mira (-3%) underperforming. The Honda N-ONE (+1670.2%) and Suzuki Jimny (+174.8%) secure stellar gains further down.

Foreign models data is available quarterly in Japan and the Mini lineup (+13.5%) continues to easily dominate the charts over Q1 2021. The VW T-Cross (-8.2%) leaps back up three spots on Q4 2020 to land in 2nd place overall, it distances a BMW 3 Series (-11.8%) in difficulty. The Volvo 60 Series (+12.9%) jumps to 4th place and the Jeep Wrangler (+30.8%) is up one spot on Q4 2020 to land at a fantastic 5th position. The VW Polo (+9.4%) is solid at #6, the VW T-Roc is up 7 ranks on Q4 2020 to #8, and the Mercedes GLB is down 6 but remains in the Top 10 at #10. Notice also the Mercedes S-Class soaring to #12 for its first quarterly Top 20 appearance since Q4 2017, the BMW 2 Series (+78%) at #15 and the Peugeot 208 at #18.

Previous month: Japan February 2021: Market edging up 0.5%, Mitsubishi and Lexus in good shape

One year ago: Japan March 2020: Mazda shines, Corolla, Fit and Yaris surge to top, VW T-Cross instant hit in slimmest market drop in 6 months (-9.3%)

Full March 2021 Top 57 All-brands, Top 50 regular cars, Top 34 All-kei cars and Q1 2021 Top 20 foreign models below.

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