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Japan February 2024: Daihatsu down -82%, overall sales off -19.2%

Daihatsu Move sales are down -88% in February.

Japanese new vehicle sales continue to struggle in February at -19.2% year-on-year to 344,816 units, leading to a year-to-date tally off -16% to 679,692. For the month, regular cars are down -16% to 226,769 units and kei cars down -24.8% to 118,047. Volumes continue to be penalised by the safety test falsification scandal at Daihatsu which completely shut down production. As a result Daihatsu sales are down 82% in February to just 2.8% share vs. 12.4% over the Full Year 2023, as models are shipped on existing inventory. Some kei vehicles restarted production in February. Toyota sales are down -34% as it is also affected by a test data rigging scandal at an affiliated diesel engine supplier. Meanwhile Suzuki (+13.7%) is up to 19% share, Honda (+14.5%) up to 16.6% and Nissan (+6.5%) up to 13.8%. Mitsubishi (+35.4%), Mercedes (+14.3%) and Volkswagen (+31.4%) also impress.

In the regular cars ranking, the Toyota Corolla/Cross (+0.7%) repeats at #1 above the Toyota Yaris/Cross (-20.7%). The Nissan Note (-6.5%) is up two spots on January to land on the third step of the podium, distancing the Toyota Prius (+19.6%) still boosted by the new generation. The Honda StepWGN (+104.8%), Honda Vezel (+71.9%), Nissan Serena (+45.3%) and Honda Freed (+1.4%) also defy the negative market in the remainder of the Top 10. Launched in December, the Lexus LBX confirms its is an instant success and progresses a further 16 ranks on last month to #26.

As far as kei cars are concerned, the Top 7 models are unchanged on January. The Honda N-BOX (-15.8%) dominates despite losing ground year-on-year while the Suzuki Spacia (+53.9%) is catching up and ends the month only 1,500 sales below. The Suzuki Hustler (+60.2%), Mitsubishi Delica Mini/eK (+159.2%), Nissan Dayz (+158.5%) and Suzuki Jimmy (+20.4%) also shine. The Daihatsu Tanto (-84.6%), Move (-88%), Taft (-84.7%) and Mira (-67.8%) all freefall.

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

One year ago: Japan February 2023: Toyota, Lexus outstanding in market up 20.3%

Full February 2024 Top 50 All brands, Top 50 regular cars and Top 33 All kei cars below.

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