While we’re certainly not going to claim that America is the defining automotive market, it is a fairly large one. January is always an important month for the auto industry, as it gives us the first data we have on 2013 vehicles. Thus, having the opportunity to analyze any sales data at all, especially from such a sizable market, is an eye-opening opportunity.
As you continue reading, we are going to take a first look at which Japanese cars to look out for this year. Even though trends seen in January may not be the same as trends seen at the end of December 11 months from now, they’re a powerful indication of what’s to come.
So, here are the top selling Japanese cars in America during the month of January, in descending order of sales. I’ll also discuss performance compared to this time last year.
1st Place – Toyota Camry (31,897)
Unsurprisingly, the Toyota Camry remains as undisputed champion in the American market.
50% of the cars, Japanese or otherwise, in the top 10 best-selling vehicles were midsize sedans. The Toyota Camry is the best midsize sedan out there. Therefore, the 2013 Toyota Camry was the best-selling vehicle in America during January, with sales up almost 13% since this time last year.
2nd Place – Honda Accord (23,924)
The 2013 Honda Accord had the greatest increase in sales of any other car in the top 20.
During the month of January last year, Honda only sold about 13K Accords. With almost 24,000 units moved out the doors of American Honda dealerships this month, that is a massive 75% jump in sales.
Still, the Accord would need to make that same jump one more time in order to surpass the Toyota Camry, which I don’t see happening even if their sales continue to increase throughout 2013.
3rd Place – Toyota Corolla / Matrix (23,822)
Another Toyota means that the top three best-selling cars in America are all Japanese made. And six of the top 10 best-selling cars are Japanese made. Not exactly surprising, but great news for us Japanese-biased individuals in the auto-industry. The Corolla is up a very reasonable 32% since last year.
5th Place – Honda Civic (21,881)
For those of you interested, the Ford Fusion took fourth place by selling 22,399 units during January, an astonishing 65% increase in sales over last year. The Honda Civic didn’t do quite as well, and is actually down .01% since last year. If they’d sold just 3 more Civics they’d be in the black.
6th Place – Nissan Altima (21,464)
Here we see the first Nissan on the list – their flagship Altima sedan – down 4% since last year.
9th Place – Toyota Prius (15,772)
This includes all four Prius models, including the regular Prius, C, V, and Plug-in versions. The Prius Liftback was the best-selling Prius with 9,685 sales.
16th Place – Nissan Versa (10,270)
18th Place – Nissan Sentra (8,979)
Last but not least, hanging out with Volkswagen, Dodge and Chrysler in positions 15 through 20 are two more Nissan vehicles. The Versa compact car saw a not-all-that great 9% increase in sales while the Altima’s more affordable cousin saw a 27% increase in sales.
All in all, January was a very good month for the automotive industry, as the market grew 14%. With any luck, January is just a precursor of what’s to come throughout the rest of 2013; it’s high time that the automotive industry got its comeback. Even if 2013 doesn’t turn out to be the year that everyone is hoping it will be, it looks as if the key Japanese cars are still going to do quite well, no matter what.
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