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Japan January 2024: Market (-12.4%) held back by Daihatsu (-62.6%), Lexus LBX in Top 50

The Lexus LBX is already up to #42 for its first full month of sales.

The Japanese new vehicle market starts the year in difficult fashion with January sales down -12.4% to 334,838. The negative result is partly due to the safety test falsification scandal at Daihatsu which paused shipments in late December and completely shut down production for the entire month of January. As a result Daihatsu sales are down -62.6% in January to just 6% share vs. 12.4% over the Full Year 2023. The strong earthquake in Ishikawa Prefecture also temporarily affected operations at some local manufacturers, including Toyota. Toyota sales are down -15.1% as it is now also affected by a test data rigging scandal at an affiliated diesel engine supplier. Mazda (-33.8%) is also hit hard whereas Honda (+18.6%), Nissan (+4.6%) and Suzuki (+1.7%) power ahead.

In the regular car models ranking, the Toyota Corolla/Cross (-13.7%) takes the lead for the first time since December 2022, overstepping the Toyota Yaris/Cross (-18.4%). The Sienta (-11.1%) and Prius (+166%) ensure the Top 4 is entirely composed of Toyotas, with the latter boosted by its new generation. The Nissan Note (-13.9%) is the best of the rest at #5 ahead of a surging Honda Vezel (+155.7%). The Nissan Serena (+83.1%), Toyota Alphard (+31.7%) and Harrier (+19.3%) also impress below. Further down, notice the Toyota Vellfire (+2351.5%), Lexus RX350 (+213.8%), Toyota JPN Taxi (+197.9%), Subaru Levorg (+108.5%) and Nissan X-Trail (+103.9%). The new Lexus LBX breaks into the Top 50 for its first full month of sales at #42.

Looking at kei mini vehicles, the Honda N-BOX (-11.9%) is still by far the best-seller ahead of the Suzuki Spacia (+11.1%) and Hustler (+14.4%). The Nissan Roox (-12.7%), Suzuki Wagon R (-16.4%) and Alto (-4.2%) all struggle below whereas the Mitsubishi Delica Mini/eK (+136.8%) and Nissan Dayz (+123.5%) shoot up. Daihatsu models sink: the Tanto is off -66.2 to #8, the Mira down -46.4% to #11, the Move down -74.5% to #12 and the Taft off -57.5% to #15.

Previous post: Japan Full Year 2023: Honda N-BOX and Toyota Yaris on top again, Toyota places 8 models in Top 9

One year ago: Japan January 2023: Toyota up to 32.4% share in very dynamic market (+16%)

Full January 2024 Top 48 All brands, Top 50 regular cars and Top 35 All kei cars below.

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