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Japan May 2023: Toyota Prius up to #2 in market up 25%

The Toyota Prius hits its highest ranking in almost 4 years.

New vehicle sales in Japan lodge a fifth consecutive double-digit market gain in May at +25% To 326,730 units, leading to a year-to-date tally up 17% or 300,000 sales to 2,057,880. Brand leader Toyota (+31.8%) outpaces its home market to 33.7% share, while Suzuki (+10%) overtakes Daihatsu (+25.3%) to #2 despite a shy uptick. Honda (+15.2%), Nissan (+21.3%) and Mazda (+109.4%) camp on their April positions just as Lexus (+125.3%) scores the largest gain in the Top 10 once again. The premium brand ranks #7 year-to-date (+139.5%) vs. #12 over the Full Year 2022. Isuzu (+53.7%), Fuso (+52.1%), Land Rover (+110.2%) and Peugeot (+115.8%) also impress below.

In the regular car ranking, the Toyota Yaris/Cross (+2.5%) is rather timid this month but easily keeps the lead. In 2nd place and booted by the new generation, the Toyota Prius soars 376.2% year-on-year and is up two ranks on last month. This is the highest the Prius has been since August 2019. The Toyota Sienta (+113.7%) stays in third place ahead of the Toyota Corolla/Cross (-6.9%), with the Noah (+160.2%) and Voxy (+220.5%) ensuring the Top 6 is 100% Toyota. In fact, the carmaker places an astounding 9 nameplates in the Top 10: add the Roomy (-16.9%), Aqua (+91.4%) and Harrier (+94.3%). The odd one out is the Nissan Serena (+158.2%). Below, the Toyota Crown (+298.1%) also helped by a new model, the Lexus NX350H (+281.5%) and Nissan X-Trail (+386.6%) stand out.

Kei car-wise, the Honda N-BOX (+61.8%) holds onto the top spot and is even the most sold vehicle in the country this month, above the Toyota Yaris/Cross. The Daihatsu Tanto (+165.5%) shoots up year-on-year and remains in 2nd place above the Daihatsu Move (+35%) also in great shape. The Suzuki Spacia (-8.9%) and Wagon R (-4.1%) can’t catch up with the market growth with disappointing year-on-year losses. In fact the Daihatsu Taft (+39.1%) is the only additional Top 10 member to beat the market.

Previous month: Japan April 2023: New generation lifts Toyota Prius to highest in 3.5 years

One year ago: Japan May 2022: Mitsubishi, Honda Freed impress in 9th straight double-digit market drop (-18.1%)

Full May 2023 Top 54 All brands, Top 50 regular models and Top 35 All kei cars below.

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