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Japan May 2018: Toyota Aqua repeats at #1, Suzuki, Lexus impress

The Toyota Aqua scores its first back-to-back win since November 2015.

* Now updated with Top 55 All-brands, Top 50 regular cars and Top 35 kei cars *

The Japanese new car market edges down 1.7% year-on-year in May to 366.155 registrations, leading to a year-to-date volume down 1.1% to 2.278.716 units. Brand leader Toyota skids down 7% to 29.2% share which is still ahead of its 27.9% YTD level. Suzuki surges 28.3% to 14.8% share but remains #3 YTD below Honda, itself up 7.6% to #3 in May. Among other local manufacturers, Daihatsu (-8.2%), Nissan (-17.5%) and even more strikingly Subaru (-35%) struggle whereas Lexus (+56.6%), Hino (+30.7%), Mazda (+24.2%) and Mitsubishi (+11.5%) shine.

The Xbee is up to a record #23 in May, helping Suzuki up 28.3%. Pictures autos-one,.jp

Mercedes (+0.8%) is up one notch on April to #11 overall, holding on to the #1 foreign carmaker title by a very slim margin (104 sales) over Volkswagen soaring 20.8%. BMW (+2.3%), Audi (+18.1%) and Mini (+18.9%) follow. Further down, notice Jaguar (+110.9%), Chevrolet (+85%), Citroen (+79.2%), Alfa Romeo (+70.7%), Abarth (+55.9%), Land Rover (+44.3%), Peugeot (+37.6%), Volvo (+32.6%), Ferrari (+25%) and Jeep (+22.8%) all posting spectacular gains.

Lexus sales are up 56.6% this month at home, led by the NX300.

In the regular cars ranking, the Toyota Aqua repeats its April win thanks to deliveries up 37%, delivering its first back-to-back victory since November 2015 and overtaking the Prius (-39% this month) to rank #2 YTD. The Nissan Note drops 13% in third place but holds onto its YTD pole position with a comfortable 7.500-unit advantage. The Toyota Roomy (+39%), Tank (+35%), Nissan Serena (+23%) and Honda Fit (+16%) also shine in the Top 10.

The 3008 helps Peugeot up 37.6% in Japan this month. Picture webcartop.jp

The Suzuki Xbee is the most popular recent launch (<12 months) up 4 spots on April to a record #23, followed by the Mazda CX-8 at #29 (-3), Honda Civic at #35 (-2), Lexus NX300 at #40 (-1) and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross at #45 (-4). In the remainder of the Top 50 the Toyota Camry (+1826%), Lexus CT200H (+336%), Honda Jade (+216%), Mazda CX-3 (+184%), Lexus NX300H (+165%), Nissan Leaf (+160%), Honda Shuttle (+83%), Toyota Land Cruiser W (+83%) and Honda StepWGN (+57%) all deliver spectacular gains. In the kei cars world, the Honda N-BOX (+43%) and Suzuki Spacia (+46%) produce the largest gains in the Top 12 to cement their domination, with the Mazda Flair Wagon (+111%), Toyota Pixis (+59%) and Subaru Stella (+41%) also in great shape.

Previous month: Japan April 2018: Toyota Aqua leads for first time in 6 months

One year ago: Japan May 2017: Toyota Prius back to top spot, C-HR #2

Full May 2018 Top 55 All-brands, Top 50 regular cars and Top 35 kei cars below.

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Japan April 2018: Toyota Aqua leads for first time in 6 months

The Toyota Aqua is the best-selling regular car in Japan for the 1st time since last October.

* Updated with the Top 33 kei cars, Top 50 All-brands and Top 50 regular cars *

New light vehicle sales in Japan are back in positive in April at +3.2% year-on-year to 366.155 registrations, yet the year-to-date tally remains in negative at -1.3% to 1.906.848. Brand leader Toyota (-1.7%) is one of only three Top 10 manufacturers to put on the reverse gear year-on-year alongside Nissan (-0.5%) with Subaru hit by a steep 23.2% drop. The next three best-sellers all outpace the market, led by Suzuki (+9.2%) ahead of Honda (+8.2%) and Daihatsu (+4.6%). Lexus (+51.9%) splendidly posts the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 20 and returns into the Top 10, up 3 spots on March to #9. Hino (+37.1%), Volkswagen (+19.5%), Mazda (+15.6%) and Volvo (+13%) also impress in the remainder of the Top 20, while among smaller brands Lotus (+121.4%), Citroen (+112.4%), Alfa Romeo (+102.6%), McLaren (+90%), Lamborghini (+60%), Peugeot (+55%), Porsche (+44.5%), Rolls-Royce (+33.3%), Land Rover (+25.4%) and Abarth (+24.1%) shine.

The Toyota Roomy is up 32% to a highest-ever 4th place this month. 

Over in the regular car rankings, the Toyota Aqua soars 22% year-on-year to take the lead for the third time in the past 9 months along with last August and October, distancing the Toyota Prius (-16%) and Nissan Note (-15%). Year-to-date, the order is reversed with the Note #1 (-15%) above the Prius (-23%) and Aqua (-2%). The Toyota Roomy surges 32% to equal its highest ever ranking at #4, also hit last October. Its twin the Toyota Tank (+15%) also impresses at #10, keeping in mind that when adding Daihatsu Thor figures (#32) we arrive at 15.359 units or #1 overall, 62% above the Aqua with a 4th rebadge, the Subaru Justy, still missing. The Mazda CX-8 gains three spots on March to lead all recent launches (<12 months) at #26, just above the Suzuki Xbee hitting a new record #27 (+4), the Honda Civic at #33 (+8), the Lexus NX300 at #39 and the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross at #41 (-14).

The all-new Mazda CX-8 is up to #26 to lead all recent launches.

Over in the kei car ranking, both the Honda N-BOX (+62%) and Suzuki Spacia (+64%) post tremendous year-on-year gain and dominate the charts as they do YTD. The next four best-sellers however are all in decline: the Daihatsu Move (-2%) distancing the Daihatsu Tanto (-14%), Suzuki Wagon R (-12%) and Nissan Dayz (-17%). In fact, the Daihatsu Mira (+72%) is the only other nameplate in positive in the remainder of the Top 10, also scoring the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 15. Other notable performers include the Daihatsu Atrai Wagon (+115%), Mazda Flair Wagon (+89%), Subaru Pleo (+63%) and Toyota Pixis (+63%).

Previous month: Japan March 2018: Mitsubishi (+21.7%), Lexus (+38.1%) defy market down 3.5%

One year ago: Japan April 2017: Toyota C-HR climbs into pole position

Full April 2018 Top 50 All-brands, Top 50 regular cars and Top 33 kei cars below.

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Japan March 2018: Mitsubishi (+21.7%), Lexus (+38.1%) defy market down 3.5%

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross breaks into its home Top 30 for its first full month of sales.

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 55 All-brands, Top 50 regular cars, Top 33 kei cars and Top 20 foreigners *

The Japanese new car market disappoints once again with a 6th consecutive year-on-year decline at -3.5% to 667.275 registrations, pulling the year-to-date tally down 2.3% to 1.540.691 units. Brand leader Toyota is hit a lot harder at -9.9% to 27% share, with the Top 8 best-sellers unchanged on February and the YTD order. Mitsubishi once again is the best performer with a 21.7% surge and Daihatsu (+4%), Mazda (+2.2%) and Honda (+1.1%) are also in positive but Subaru (-9.2%), Nissan (-6.6%) and Suzuki (-1%) all decline. Further down, Lexus (+38.1%) posts the largest gain in the Top 20, with McLaren (+136.4%), Alpina (+78.9%), Alfa Romeo (+69.7%), Lotus (+68.4%), Land Rover (+58.8%), Chevrolet (+58.1%), Cadillac (+44.3%), Citroen (+21.8%), Peugeot (+14.9%) and Porsche (+10.8%) also showing great form.

The Nissan Note is the best-selling regular car in Japan for the third month running.

In the regular cars ranking, the Nissan Note manages a third consecutive month in pole position despite a steep 21% year-on-year, making it 8 monthly wins for this generation Note, starting in November 2016. The Toyota Prius freefalls 30% but remains in 2nd place while the Nissan Serena (+3%) overtakes the Toyota Aqua (+17%) to climb onto the third step of the podium. The Honda Fit (+8%) rounds up the Top 5, followed by the Toyota Voxy (+15%) while the remainder of the Top 10 all post double-digit declines, the hardest hit being the Toyota C-HR (-35%). Further down, the Honda StepWGN (+49%), Toyota Alphard (+46%), Land Cruiser (+104%), Camry (+1020%), Nissan Leaf (+91%), Daihatsu Thor (+76%) and Lexus NX300H (+126%) post the largest gains in the Top 50. Launched last month, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross shoots up to #27 for its 1st full month of sales, becoming the #1 recent launch (<12 months) above the Mazda CX-8 (#29), Suzuki Xbee (#31), Honda Civic (#41) and Lexus LS500H (#50).

The Daihatsu Mira is up 44% year-on-year in March, the largest gain among the Top 10 kei cars.

Over in the kei cars ranking, the Honda N-BOX remains the dominant force in the segment and the overall market as a 3% year-on-year gain propels it to 26.851 units and the best-selling vehicle in the country. The Suzuki Spacia (+24%) and Daihatsu Move (+16%) both overtake the Nissan Dayz (-14%) to rank 2nd and 3rd respectively for the month, while the Daihatsu Tanto (-18%) closes out the Top 5 but posts the steepest decline in the Top 10. Below the Suzuki Wagon R up 3%, the Daihatsu Mira on the other hand signs the largest year-on-year improvement among the ten best-selling kei cars in March at +44%. Further down, notice the Honda N-ONE (+205%), Daihatsu Atrai Wagon (+137%), Mazda Flair Wagon (+64%), Subaru Pleo (+53%) and Toyota Pixis (+28%) all significantly higher than a year ago.

The Audi Q2 makes its first appearance among the Top 20 foreigners in Japan.

As is the tradition every quarter we have access to foreign models ranking in Japan, and over the First Quarter of 2018, and it’s a mini-event on top: for only the second time in the past eight quarters, the VW Golf (+2%) takes the lead, knocking the Mini (+2%) to 2nd place. The Mercedes C-Class, E-Class and BMW 3 Series round out the Top 5, replicating the Q4 2017 and FY2017 orders. The Volvo V40 shoots back up 6 spots on Q4 2017 to #6 ahead of the BMW X1 and VW Polo. The Mercedes GLC (+29%), A Class (+18%) and BMW 5 Series (+12%) all post very solid gains. We have two new arrivals in the Foreign Top 20: the Audi Q2 leaps directly to #16 while the VW Tiguan is propelled by its new generation to #18.

Previous month: Japan February 2018: Nissan Note repeats, Lexus and Mitsubishi soar

One year ago: Japan March 2017: Nissan Note reclaims top spot

Full March 2018 Top 55 All-brands, Top 50 regular cars, Top 33 kei cars and Q1 Top 20 foreigners below.

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Japan February 2018: Nissan Note repeats, Lexus and Mitsubishi soar

The Nissan Note posts a second concecutive month as #1 regular car in Japan.

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 33 Kei carsTop 50 All-brands and Top 50 cars *

The Japanese new car market slips down 2.2% year-on-year in February to 473.878 registrations, pulling the year-to-date tally further into negative at -1.5% to 873.418 units. Market leader Toyota is struggling: down 10.5% to 27.9% share which is the steepest decline in the Top 6. Honda goes against the grain with a 3% year-on-year gain in 2nd place, distancing Nissan (-2%), Suzuki (+0.7%) and Daihatsu posting a very strong 7.1% improvement. In 9th place overall, Lexus lodges the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 25 at +68.1% with Mitsubishi (+22.4%) also very solid in the remainder of the Top 10 whereas Mazda (-4.1%), Isuzu (-10.6%) and Subaru (-16.4%) all lose significant ground.

The new LS500H helps Lexus up 68.1% year-on-year at home in February.

Further down, Mercedes (+0.7%) remains the most popular foreign carmaker in Japan and the only one holding more than 1% market share but only ranks #12 vs. #10 over the Full Year 2017. It is followed by Volkswagen (-5.5%), BMW (-7.9%) and Audi (+5.8%). Lamborghini (+90.6%), Alfa Romeo (+68.8%), Chevrolet (+54.8%), Peugeot (+32.5%) and Jeep (+31.5%) shine but Smart (-84.1%), DS (-50.7%), Aston Martin (-26.9%), Porsche (-26%) and Jaguar (-25.5%) are hit the hardest.

First Top 30 ranking for the Suzuki XBee.

For the first time on BSCB we can share with you coverage of the 50 best-selling regular cars (up from 30). For the first time for this generation, the Nissan Note manages two consecutive months in pole position among regular cars thanks to deliveries down just 7%, it is the 7th time this generation Note ranks at #1 at home, starting in November 2016. The Top 4 is unchanged on January with the Toyota Prius (-28%), Aqua (-2%) and Nissan Serena (-5%) in tow. At #6, the Honda Fit (+2%) is the only Top 10 nameplate to gain ground vs. February 2017, with the Toyota C-HR (-41%) posting the steepest decline.

The new Toyota JPN Taxi breaks into its home Top 50 this month.

The Nissan Leaf (+117%), Honda StepWGN (+72%) and Toyota Land Cruiser W (+63%) are the most dynamic in the Top 30. We welcome the cutesy Suzuki XBee inside the Japanese Top 30 for the very first time and for its 2nd month of sales in the country at #30 with just under 3.000 units sold this month. Among recent launches (<12 months), it distances the returning Honda Civic (#38), the Lexus LS500 (#43), Lexus LS500H (#45) and the all-new Toyota JPN Taxi landing at #50. The Honda N-BOX (+13%) continues to dominate the Kei car ranking ahead of the Nissan Dayz (-11%) – both nameplates outselling the Nissan Note – while the Suzuki Spacia (+25%) and Daihatsu Move (+19%) both overtake the Daihatsu Tanto (-15%) to rank #3 and #4 respectively. The Honda N-ONE (+56%), Mazda Flair Wagon (+47%), Suzuki Jimny (+43%), Daihatsu Mira (+38%) and Mitsubishi eK (+34%) also impress.

Previous month: Japan January 2018: Nissan Note #1, Mazda CX-8 and Nissan Leaf shine

One year ago: Japan February 2017: Toyota Prius leads, CH-R climbs onto podium

Full February 2018 Top 50 All-brands, Top 50 cars and Top 33 Kei cars below.

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Japan January 2018: Nissan Note #1, Mazda CX-8 and Nissan Leaf shine

The Nissan Note is the best-selling car in Japan this month. Pictures autoc-one.jp

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 35 kei cars *

* See the Top 52 All-brands and Top 30 cars by clicking on the title *

The Japanese new car market edges down 0.5% year-on-year in January to 399.540 registrations, with the two best-selling brands in negative: Toyota drops 6.5% to 26.7% share vs. 30.3% over the Full Year 2017 and Honda is down 5.2% to 14.1%, albeit slightly better than the 13.8% it held in FY2017. Below is a string of four manufacturers gaining ground on a year ago: Nissan (+0.9%), Daihatsu (+11.3%), Suzuki (+5.4%) and Mazda (+4.5%). Lexus (+59.7%) and Mitsubishi (+13.4%) post the biggest year-on-year gains in the Top 10 while Subaru (-21.7%) endures the largest drop. Mercedes (+2.5%) remains the most popular foreign carmakers but drops four spots on December to #12, followed at a distance by Volkswagen (-10.8%), BMW (-19.5%) and Audi (-8.6%). Peugeot (+89%), Aston Martin (+78.6%), Chevrolet (+54.5%), Ferrari (+51.2%), Renault (+29.6%), Bentley (+21.4%) and Jeep (+20.5%) are the most dynamic further down the ranking.

The 2nd gen Nissan Leaf has already ranked inside the Top 30 three times vs. twice for the 1st gen.

Over in the regular car aisle, the Nissan Note returns to #1 for the first time since last September and the 6th in total for this generation, starting in November 2016. This month it has a 3.180 sales-advantage over the Toyota Prius, its largest gap on the #2 so far. The Toyota Voxy (+14%), Honda Fit (+12%) and Toyota Aqua (+6%) post robust gains while the Toyota Roomy (+5%) and Tank (+6%) tandem of twins continues to impress, adding up to 12.253 sales which would place them in 2nd position overall. It’s a bad month for SUVs: all leaders in the segment fall flat in January: the Toyota C-HR (-40%), Harrier (-31%) and Honda Vezel (-43%).

First Top 30 ranking for the all-new Mazda CX-8, now the brand’s best-selling SUV.

One SUV that has started its career flamboyantly is the Mazda CX-8 breaking into the Top 30 for the first time at #25. The Toyota Land Cruiser continues to feel the effects of its facelift, up 70% to #29 while the Camry is on another planet vs. the previous model: +966% to #30. But the hero of the month is the Nissan Leaf: up 163% on the previous gen to #19, its highest ranking at home also hit last October. It is the Leaf’s fifth time ever inside the monthly Top 30, including three for this gen – October 2017 (#19), December 2017 (#27) and January 2018 (#19) and two for the first gen – February 2011 (#25) and January 2016 (#28).

Suzuki Wagon R sales are up 251% year-on-year thanks to a new generation.

In the kei cars aisle, the Honda N-BOX (+9%) remains dominant, but this month it is followed by the Nissan Dayz (+31%) and Daihatsu Tanto (-8%) while the Daihatsu Move, #2 in 2017, is down 2% to #4. The Suzuki Spacia (+33%), Wagon R (+251%) and Daihatsu Mira (+57%) are next, all posting spectacular year-on-year gains. Notice also the Daihatsu Atrai Wagon (+141%), Mazda Flair (+114%), Nissan NV100 (+51%) and Honda N-ONE (+26%) all signing very healthy increases.

Previous post (1): Japan Full Year 2017: Complete Japanese models data now available

Previous post (2): Japan Full Year 2017: Prius and N-BOX on top, C-HR wins one month

One year ago: Japan January 2017: Nissan Note leads, Toyota C-HR up to #4

Full January 2018 Top 52 All-brands, Top 30 cars and Top 35 kei cars below.

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Japan Full Year 2017: Complete Japanese models data now available

The all-new Mazda CX-8 sells over 2.000 units in four months at home.

* See the Top 120 All Japanese regular cars, Top 50 All kei car versions and Top 180 all car versions by clicking on the title *

Consult 50 years of Japan Historical Data here

As is the tradition at BSCB we can reveal today exclusive All Japanese regular cars, All kei cars by version and All cars by version rankings, making the exploration of this unique market even more interesting. Looking at Japanese regular cars, we now have a complete picture of all actors in the market, with the Subaru Levorg (-5%) and Toyota Land Cruiser (-3%) being bumped out of the Top 30 while the Daihatsu Thor, up an estimated 725% to #33 for its first full year in market and the Toyota Camry boosted up 265% by its new generation to #36 the biggest movers just below.

The Honda Civic reappears in Japan for the first time since 2011.

The Lexus LS soars 89% to #67 and the Subaru Justy – the Thor’s twin brother – is up an estimated 731% to #69. Four new nameplates make their entrance – or comeback – in the Japanese regular car ranking for 2017: the Honda Civic reappears at home for the first time since 2011 through its UK-imported hatch and R variants at #76 with over 3.000 sales since it launch in July, the Lexus LC lands at #81 with just under 2.500 units since March and the Mazda CX-8 arrives at #86 selling over 2.000 since September. Finally at #108 the Honda NSX pops up with 128 sales since February.

The Daihatsu Move Canbius crosses the 75.000 annual sales mark for its first full year.

Over in the kei cars aisle, we have an exclusive ranking by version that’s a much more precise look at exactly which formats of these Japan-specific vehicles truly are the most successful. The Honda N-BOX and Daihatsu Move in their “base” variants still win at this little game, followed by the Suzuki Wagon R and Spacia. Then the variants arrive: the Daihatsu Mira e:S (+45%) distances the Daihatsu Move Canbus (+159%) with the Nissan Dayz Roox (+35%) and Suzuki Alto Lapin (-14%) also making it into the Top 15.

Previous 2018 post: Japan Full Year 2017: Prius and N-BOX on top, Toyota C-HR wins 1 month

Previous year: Japan Full Year 2016: Now with exclusive Top 170 All local models

Two years ago: Japan Full Year 2015: Now with exclusive Top 184 All-local models

Full Year 2017 Top 120 All Japanese regular cars, Top 50 kei car versions and Top 180 All car versions vs. Full Year 2016 figures below.

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Japan Full Year 2017: Prius and N-BOX on top, Toyota C-HR wins 1 month

The Honda N-BOX is the best-selling vehicle in Japan in 2017, outselling the Toyota Prius.

* See the Top 60 All-brands, Top 30 cars, Top 40 kei cars and Top 20 foreigners by clicking on the title *

Consult 50 years worth of Japanese Historical Data here

The Japanese new car market is up a robust 5.3% in 2017 to 5.234.166 sales, with imports up 2.1% to 351.020 units, of these 306.088 being foreign nameplates (+3.7%). After Mitsubishi/Nissan in 2016, local sales have been rocked by another scandal this year: inspection irregularities affecting Nissan from October onwards and Subaru from November. Brand leader Toyota trails the market slightly with a 3.9% gain but manages to maintain itself above 30% share. The Top 11 brands are unchanged on 2016 but show a whole spectrum of /16 evolutions. Honda (+2.5%) loses share but remains #2 ahead of Suzuki (+6.9%) and Daihatsu (+7.5%) both outpacing the market. Despite the inspection scandals, Nissan (+10.6%) and Subaru (+13.5%) post the only double-digit gains in the Top 20. Mitsubishi (+6.9%) and Hino (+7.1%) improve their share whereas Mazda (+4.1%), Isuzu (-0.2%) and most strikingly Lexus (-12.6%) under-perform.

The Toyota Prius remains the #1 regular car in spite of a 35% drop. 

Mercedes (+1.2%) is once again the most popular foreign carmaker in Japan and the only one ranking inside the overall Top 10. BMW (+3.9%) and Volkswagen (+3.8%) both gain one rank to #12 and #13 respectively, both taking advantage of Lexus’ freefall. Audi (-0.6%) disappoints and goes backwards but doesn’t fall on the ladder. It is followed by Mini (+3.6%), Volvo (+8.1%) and Jeep (+7.6%). Outside the overall Top 20, Aston Martin (+72.6%), Citroen (+56.9%), Maserati (+37.9%), Chevrolet (+36.4%), Lamborghini (+24.3%), Renault (+34.3%), Ferrari (+14.3%), Peugeot (+11.3%) and Land Rover (+11%) are among the best performers. At the other end of the scale, Ford (-75.2%) which has discontinued sales in the country, Alpina (-36%), DS (-29.2%), Hyundai (-24.9%) and Chrysler (-24.7%) are the hardest hit.

The Nissan Note ends the year at a record-breaking 2nd place.

Over in the cars ranking, the Toyota Prius posts a second consecutive year in pole position and 5th annual win in total despite a steep 35% decline to just above 160.000 units. Interestingly, the Prius only topped the monthly sales charts five times this year. Boosted by a new generation and its e-Power variant, the Nissan Note is up 36% to end the year in 2nd place with just under 140.000 sales, that’s a new annual ranking record for the nameplate (previous best: #4 in 2013) but not a volume highest (147.634 in 2013). The Note ranked #1 in Japan in January, March, July and September. The Toyota Aqua retracts 22% and one spot to round up the podium, leading the way both in August and October when it took advantage of the Prius’ weakness.

In 2017 the Toyota C-HR became the first SUV top top the monthly Japanese charts.

The main event this year in the thunderous arrival of the Toyota C-HR near the top of the regular cars ranking, landing at #4 with over 115.000 sales for its first full year in market, having been launched in Japan in December 2016. The C-HR even became the very first SUV to top the local monthly sales charts – it did so in April – and is the highest-ever ranking SUV in year-end sales. However, after placing #2 in May and June and #5 in July, it then disappeared from the Top 8 for the remainder of the year… The honeymoon period is well and truly consumed and it will be interesting to see where the nameplate stabilises in 2018. Another newcomer inside the annual Top 5 is the Honda Freed, exactly doubling its sales and up 11 spot on 2016 thanks to a new generation and becoming the brand’s best-selling regular car above the Fit (-7%). The other stars of 2017 are the Toyota Roomy (#11) and Tank (#14) twin tandem, launched in late 2016 and adding up to almost 150.000 sales between the two of them, equivalent to a 2nd spot overall. Notice also the Subaru Impreza up 72% to #13, the Toyota Harrier up 42% to #16, Mazda CX-5 up 106% to #26 and Suzuki Swift up 116% to #27.

A new generation lifts the Daihatsu Move up 38% to #2 in the kei car ranking. 

The Honda N-BOX is the best-selling kei car for the third consecutive year and the 4th time in the past 5 years thanks to a facelift pulling sales up 17%. The Daihatsu Move is also boosted by a new model up 38% and two spots to #2, overtaking the Daihatsu Tanto (-9%), knocked down to #3. The Nissan Dayz is up 30% but down one rank to #4, the Suzuki Wagon R is lifted up 41% and four spots to #5 by a new generation, the Suzuki Spacia is up 29% to #6 and the Daihatsu Mira up 31% to #7. The rest of the Top 10 endures double-digit declines: -11% for the Suzuki Alto, -13% for the Honda N-WGN and -15% for the Suzuki Hustler. Further down, notice the Mazda Flair up 37% and the Honda Vamos up 33% while the Subaru Chiffon ends its first full year of sales inside the Top 20 at #19.

The Mini is the best-selling foreigner for the second year running. Picture response.jp 

In the foreign nameplates sales charts, the Mini celebrates two consecutive years in the top spot with sales up 4% year-on-year, however keep in mind this is arguably an unfair comparison set as Mini nameplate sales include all versions: Hatch, Clubman and Countryman. The VW Golf edges up 0.2% in 2nd place while the Mercedes C-Class rounds up the podium like last year but drops 7%. The Mercedes E-Class sees its sales shoot up 68% to #4, followed by the BMW 3 Series (-4%), VW Polo (-14%) and BMW 2 Series (-13%). BMW manages to place an incredible five nameplates in the Top 10 this year: along with the 1 Series at #8 (+5%), it adds the X1 (+29%) and the 5 Series, up from outside the 2016 Top 20 directly to #10. The Mercedes GLC is up 35% to #15 and the GLA breaks into the Top 20.

Previous month: Japan November 2017: Nissan, Subaru pull market into negative (-2.6%)

Previous year: Japan Full Year 2016: Toyota Prius returns to #1 spot after 3 year-hiatus

Two years ago: Japan Full Year 2015: Toyota Aqua leads, tax hike hurts kei cars

Full Year 2017 Top 60 All-brands, Top 30 cars, Top 40 kei cars and Top 20 foreigners vs. Full Year 2016 figures below.

Full December 2017 Top 55 All-brands, Top 30 cars, Top 35 kei cars and Q4 Top 20 foreigners below.

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Japan November 2017: Nissan, Subaru pull market into negative (-2.6%)

A minor facelift is enough to propel the Honda Fit back onto the podium.

* See the Top 55 All-brands, Top 30 regular cars and Top 35 kei cars by clicking on the title *

The Japanese new car market is down 2.6% year-on-year in November to 408.860 registrations, yet the year-to-date volume remains in positive territory at +5.8% to 4.839.912 units. Once again the market is handicapped by the inspection scandal affecting Nissan: the carmaker freefalls 27.4% to just 8.5% share vs. 11.4% so far this year. Without Nissan, Japan-wide sales are up 0.6%. This month Nissan is joined by Subaru (-12.8%) who has also apologised for irregular inspections happening over decades and readying its largest recall plan in the country. Meanwhile Toyota is stable on top at +0.4% to 31.2% share vs. 30.3% YTD, followed by Honda up 4.4% to 14.9%, Suzuki up 2.6% to 12.8% and Daihatsu up 1.5% to 12.7%, reproducing the YTD order. Mazda struggles this month at -19.3% despite reporting no inspection irregularities. Lexus shoots up 28.1% to land inside the overall Top 10 for the first time since April 2016, also outselling all foreign premium brands including Mercedes (#12) and BMW (#13). Below, Renault (+24.6%), Audi (+28.6%), Ferrari (+42.1%), Peugeot (+43%), Citroen (+49.6%) and Alfa Romeo (+202.7%) are among the largest gainers this month.

Lexus (+28.1%) breaks into the Top 10 brands for the first time this year.

The Toyota Roomy/Tank tandem would be #1 in market this month.

The Toyota Prius returns to the top of the regular cars sales charts for the first time since last June and the fourth time this year despite a 12% year-on-year drop. It cements its YTD lead even though its deliveries are tumbling down 37% on the same period in 2016. The Toyota Aqua (-20%) follows while the Honda Fit shoots up 46% thanks to a mid-cycle facelift to land on the podium for the first time since March 2016 and the Toyota Corolla gains 28% to hit its highest ranking in two years at #4. Both the Toyota Roomy (#6) and Tank (#9) continue to post very solid scores, adding up to over 14.000 sales this month (which would earn them and by far the #1 spot), both outselling the Toyota C-HR (#12), the carmaker’s other recent launch at home. Their twin the Daihatsu Thor even makes another appearance inside the Top 30 at #29, it ranked #30 last April, May and June. The Nissan Note (#8) is slowly recovering fathom the brand’s inspection scandal but still drops 56% year-on-year. Other great performers include the Honda StepWGN (+50%), Toyota Camry (+936%), Mazda CX-5 (+180%), Toyota Land Cruiser (+68%) and Suzuki Swift (+206%).

Toyota Land Cruiser sales are up 68% year-on-year in November.

In the kei cars ranking, the Honda N-BOX remains the uncontested leader thanks to sales surging 42% year-on-year to 20.992 and is followed like last month by the Daihatsu Move (-7%), earning the third spot year-to-date off the Nissan Dayz (+12%). The Suzuki Wagon R is up 59% to #4 but remains #5 year-to-date, the Daihatsu Mira is up 45%, the Suzuki Spacia up 16%, the Mazda Flair up 55% and the Daihatsu Atrai Wagon up 115%. Reversely, the Daihatsu Cast is down 25%, the Suzuki Hustler down 27%, the Honda N-WGN down 33% and the Daihatsu Wake down 50%.

Previous month: Japan October 2017: New Leaf can’t prevent Nissan’s freefall at -43%

One year ago: Japan November 2016: Nissan Note e-powers through to pole position

Full November 2017 Top 55 All-brands, Top 30 regular cars and Top 35 kei cars below.

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Japan October 2017: New Leaf can’t prevent Nissan’s freefall at -43%

Thanks to the new model, the Nissan Leaf breaks into its home Top 20 for the first time.

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 54 All-brands, Top 30 regular cars and Top 33 kei cars *

New car sales in Japan recede 1.7% year-on-year in October to 372.470, leading to a year-to-date total up 6.7% to 4.433.053. Regular cars are down 4.7% to 231.563 while kei cars are up 1.7% to 140.907. The market decline is solely the works of Nissan, embattled in an inspection scandal and whose sales freefall 43% to just 22.049 this month for a meagre 5.9% market share, half of its 11.7% year-to-date level. In late September, it was revealed that Nissan’s vehicles had been inspected by uncertified workers. Nissan then halted car shipments and production at all six of its Japanese assembly plants in late October after discovering that faulty quality inspections had continued at most locations in spite of the September scandal. Nissan is due to resume local production and shipment of new vehicles on November 7. Removing Nissan shows a Japanese market up 3% year-on-year in October.

The Toyota Roomy hits a record 4th place in October.

Meanwhile market leader Toyota edges up 0.6% to 32.2% share, a full two percentage points above its YTD level, Honda is up 2.6% to 15.7%, Daihatsu up 9.2% to 13.9%, Suzuki up 1.7% to 13.2%, Mazda up 8.1% to 3.8% and Subaru up 14.5% to 3.5%. In the Top 10, only Mitsubishi (-18.1%) and Isuzu (-5%) lose ground alongside Nissan. Mercedes dominates foreign carmakers at #10, up just 0.4% above BMW (+9.7%), Volkswagen (+14.9%), Audi (+2.8%), Mini (+6%) and Volvo (+25.7%). Notice also Aston Martin up 257.1%, Citroen up 148.6%, Land Rover up 84.7%, Lamborghini up 65.2%, Ferrari up 61.1%, Cadillac up 37.5% and Smart up 30.3%.

The Toyota Camry is up to its highest ranking this decade at home.

In the models ranking, the Toyota Aqua (-20%) and Prius (-29%) reclaim the top two spots, both just above 10.000 units and separated by only 17 sales. The Nissan Note, #1 in September, tumbles down 22 spots to #23, while both the Nissan Serena (#7 last month) and X-Trail (#17) step out of the Top 30. The Toyota Roomy shoots up 6 spots to #4, the Toyota Tank is up 4 to #9, both hitting their highest ever monthly rankings just under one year after their launch. More significantly, they outsell the Toyota C-HR down to #12, the nameplate’s lowest ever ranking on a full month. The Subaru Impreza is up 112% to #11, the Toyota Harrier up 63% to #14, the Mazda CX-5 up 249% to #18 and the Suzuki Swift up 83% to #24, all thanks to new generations.

Honda N-BOX Custom

The two best performances of the month are delivered by 1. The new gen Nissan Leaf up 7-fold on the previous model a year ago to land at #19 with 3.629 sales, a new record for the nameplate and its third ever Top 30 ranking at home after February 2011 (#25) and January 2016 (#28). 2. The new gen Toyota Camry is up 11-fold year-on-year to #22, its fourth consecutive Top 30 ranking and the nameplate’s highest spot this decade. Over in the kei cars aisle, the Honda N-BOX is helped by its facelift up 53% to 21.233 sales, comfortably distancing the Daihatsu Move (+12%) and Tanto (+1%) while the Suzuki WagonR (+48%) and Daihatsu Mira (+46%) both post spectacular gains. The Nissan Dayz is hit at -37% to #8 from #2 in September and loses its YTD 2nd place to the Daihatsu Tanto.

Previous month: Japan September 2017: Nissan Note, Honda Freed shine, market up 3.9%

One year ago: Japan October 2016: Nissan Serena shoots up to #3 as market nudges down

Full October 2017 Top 54 All-brands, Top 30 regular cars and Top 33 kei cars below.

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Japan September 2017: Nissan Note, Honda Freed shine; market up 3.9%

The Nissan Note is the best-selling car in Japan in September. 

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 52 brands, Top 30 cars, Top 35 kei cars and Top 20 imports *

New light vehicle sales in Japan are up 3.9% year-on-year in September to 495.189 units, with the year-to-date total now up 7.5% to 4.060.584 deliveries after nine months. Leader Toyota goes against the grain with a 6.9% year-on-year drop to 27.1% share vs. a round 30% year-to-date, but the next 6 brands all outpace the market: Honda (+8.4%), Suzuki (+5.1%), Nissan (+27.8%), Daihatsu (+6.8%), Mazda (+7.6%), Subaru (+13.5%) and Mitsubishi (+49.1%). Mercedes (+2%) remains the most popular foreign brand, breaking into the Top 10 at #10 overall, ahead of BMW (-0.3%), Volkswagen (+7.2%) and Audi (-5%). Further down, notice Abarth (+23.8%), Land Rover (+28%), Alfa Romeo (+30.4%), Maserati (+55.8%) and Citroen (+83%) all post spectacular gains.

The Honda Freed is up 212% year-on-year to #4 in the cars ranking.

In the cars ranking, the Nissan Note is back up two spots on August to snap the pole position for the 5th time in the past 11 months, posting its largest monthly volume since last March. The Toyota Prius, imploding down 34% at #2, remains however #1 year-to-date, and this despite sales down 39%. #1 last month, the Toyota Aqua is down 17% to #3, now also ranking #3 year-to-date as it passes the Toyota C-HR, #9 in September. The Honda Freed, up 3-fold on September 2016, manages to rank #4 for the third time since the new generation launched last October. The Toyota Roomy is down two ranks to #10 just as the Toyota Tank is up one to #13. Notice also the Mazda CX-5 up 158% to #22, its highest ranking since last March, the Suzuki Swift up 185% to #27 and the Toyota Camry up 666% to #30.

The facelifted Honda N-BOX is the best-selling vehicle in Japan this month. Picture autos-one.jp 

In the kei cars charts, thanks to its facelift Honda N-ONE spectacularly reclaims the top spot with sales up 168% on August to 26.983, making it and by far the best-selling nameplate in Japan. This score cements the N-ONE’s YTD pole position with 2017 sales now up 11%. The Nissan Dayz steps up to 2nd place with deliveries up 39% year-on-year with it earns the 2nd place YTD also (+47%), overtaking the Daihatsu Move (+62%). The Suzuki Wagon R is up 87% to #4, the Daihatsu Mira up 46% to #7, the Mitsubishi eK up 28% to #11, the Mazda Flair up 65% to #18 and the Subaru Pleo up 64% to #20. The sole newcomer of the past 12 months in the segment, the Subaru Chiffon, continues to struggle at a low 25th place.

The Mini is the most popular foreign nameplate in Japan over the third quarter of 2017. 

Among foreign nameplates over the third quarter of 2017, the Mini remains in the lead with sales up 2% year-on-year, ahead of the VW Golf (-1%), Mercedes C-Class (-3%), Mercedes E-Class (+12%) and BMW 3 Series (-6%), reproducing the Q2 Top 5. In fact from #5 to #8 are all BMWs: the 2 Series, 1 Series and 5 Series follow, the latter up from #13 in Q2. The VW Polo falls a harsh 38% to #10, the Mercedes GLC is up a further two spots to #14 and both the Mercedes GLA (#16) and Fiat 500 (#20) are back inside the Top 20.

Previous month: Japan August 2017: Aqua back on top, C-HR falls in market up 5.5%

One year ago: Japan September 2016: Toyota and Honda stay positive, market down 0.5%

Full September 2017 Top 52 brands, Top 30 cars, Top 35 kei cars and Q3 Top 20 imports below.

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