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Japan May 2022: Mitsubishi (+34.9%), Honda Freed (+53%) impress in 9th straight double-digit market drop (-18.1%)

The Honda Freed is up to its best ranking in Japan in almost 5 years.

The Japanese new vehicle market continues to suffer in May at -18.1% year-on-year to 261,433 registrations. This marks a 9th consecutive double-digit year-on-year fall and brings the year-to-date tally down -16.2% to 1,758,282 units. Looking at the brands charts, Toyota (-20.5%) falls slightly faster than the market but posts a strong share at 31.9% vs. 31.1% year-to-date. Suzuki (-12.5%) resists and climbs to 2nd place above Daihatsu (-20.4%) and Honda (-20.7%) behaving similarly. Nissan (-9.5%) holds well but remains in 5th place with 10.3% of the market. Mitsubishi (+34.9%) posts the only year-on-year improvement in the Top 10 and is the best performer in the Top 30. In the remainder of the Top 10, only Mercedes (-11.7%) gains share year-on-year, with Mazda (-36.8%), Lexus (-30.8%) and Subaru (-24.5%) all underperforming. Porsche (+23.1%), Mini (+20.9%), Ferrari (+21.1%) and Abarth (+15.1%) shine below.

In the regular cars ranking, the Toyota Yaris/Yaris Cross (-25.6%) easily reclaims the top spot despite a hefty fall, with the Toyota Corolla/Corolla Cross (+25.8%) pushed back up to #2 thanks to the new Corolla Cross. #1 last month, the Toyota Roomy (-33.6%) falls to #3 in May just above the Honda Freed (+53%) delivering the largest gain in the Top 10 at #4, the nameplate’s highest ranking since September 2017. The only other Top 10 gainers are the Nissan Note (+11.1%), Toyota Aqua (+10.8%) and Toyota Sienta (+9.1%). The Honda Fit (+51%) is also outstanding just outside the Top 10 while the Toyota Land Cruiser W (+15.2%) is up to a best-ever #12. Below, the Mitsubishi Outlander (+1732.6%) and Toyota 86 (+3233.3%) are spectacularly lifted by new generations to #24 and #25 respectively. The new Nissan Ariya is up four spots on April to #34.

The Nissan Sakura lands at #30 in the kei cars ranking

In the kei cars aisle, for the first time in 7 months the Honda N-BOX (-39.3%) isn’t the best-seller, this honour going to the Suzuki Spacia (-17.3%). It is the Spacia’s first ever stint as the #1 kei car since the nameplate’s launch in March 2013. Note that before May, the N-BOX had held the kei car top spot for 28 of the 29 past months. The Daihatsu Move (-22.1%) is up one rank on last month to #3 while the Nissan Roox (-5.7%) is up three to #4. The Suzuki WagonR (+48.8%) surges ahead but stays #5 above the Suzuki Hustler (-23.5%) and Daihatsu Mira (+6.8%). The Suzuki Jimny (+14.7%) is the only additional gainer in the Top 10. We welcome a new EV kei car in the ranking: the Nissan Sakura landing directly at #30.

Previous month: Japan April 2022: 8th straight double-digit fall (-14.4%), Toyota Roomy #1 for the first time, Nissan Ariya lands

One year ago: Japan May 2021: Suzuki, Daihatsu outclass market up 46.3%

Full May 2022 Top 55 All-brands, Top 50 regular models and Top 35 All-kei cars below.

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