Japan’s Regular Car Sales Show YOY Increase For First Time in 13 Months

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, October 6th, 2011

After a downward spiral that has lasted 13 months, and which was greatly accelerated by the earthquake disaster in March, Japan’s new car sales are finally showing some positive growth. Sales of passenger cars (excluding kei cars) increased by 1.7% in September over the same period in 2010.

Of the major makers, Mazda saw the most promising figures with an 8.4% increase over September 2010. Honda sales rose 1.6%, and Toyota (excluding Lexus) was up 0.6%. This is the first time any of these individual manufacturers had seen an increase since the March earthquake that damaged production so severely. The figures for sales from the start of April to the end of September (the first half of the 2011 financial year in Japan) were 1,247,774 cars sold, which was 25.6% less than the same period in 2010, largely due to the after effects of the disaster.

The sales of the smaller “light” (kei) cars continued to lag behind the same period last year, with sales down 9.1% as compared with September 2010. Although this figure is still negative, kei car sales are also recovering overall, and kei car sales as a whole were 692,179 units for April 1st to September 30th 2011, which was 19.9% less than the same period in 2010. So overall, kei car sales have not been hit as hard as their larger bretheren.

Source: Yomiuri Shinbun (Japanese language)

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