New vehicle sales in Japan, excluding minivehicles, grew 1.7% last month over September 2010 to 313,790 units, the first rise in 13 months.

Vehicle sales in the county have been severely disrupted by the economic situation and by the earthquake and tsunami in March which disrupted supply lines.

The Japan Automobile Dealers Association said passenger car sales squeezed a 0.8%  gain to 280,379 units while truck sales advanced 10.1% to 32,565. Bus sales increased 5.5% to 846.

The supply chain is gradually getting back to normal, allowing carmakers to ramp up production. JADA said: “'The balance between the supply and demand has finally begun to come back.''

Cumulative sales of vehicles of all categories in the January-September period slipped 25.9% to 1,966,951 units.

Sales of minivehicles with engines up to 660 cc in September dropped 9.1% to 148,402 units.