Japan Data

New Vehicle Sales in Japan Down for First Time in Three Years


Japan’s new vehicle sales in 2019 totaled 5,195,216 units, marking the first decrease in three years.

New car sales in Japan fell by 1.5% in 2019, in the first decrease in three years. Statistics from the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and Japan Mini Vehicles Association show that a total of 5,195,216 new cars were purchased.  

Sales in the main vehicle market (tōrokusha) were 3,284,870 units, a 1.9% year-on-year decrease. Sales of minicars, which had bolstered the declining main-vehicle sales last year, also fell in 2019, by 0.7% to 1,910,346 units. Minicars accounted for 36.8% of all vehicle sales.

Monthly results for 2019, compared to the previous year, show that sales were on par with or even higher than 2018 sales until early autumn, but then fell sharply in October. Factors influencing the drop included extensive damage from Typhoon Faxai and Typhoon Hagibis that slowed sales. The expected spike in sales of new vehicles in the run-up to the consumption-tax hike in October was not as high as sales prior to the previous tax increase in 2014.

Toyota, which launched the new Corolla, was up 2.9% for the year, and Daihatsu saw sales increase 1.9%. But all six other major Japanese automakers were down in 2019. Subaru in particular saw sales drop by 11.6% in the wake of its 2017 scandal involving falsified fuel-economy and emissions tests, which led the company to revamp its production system.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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