New vehicle sales in Japan, including minivehicles, fell 22.4% year on year in August to 329,838 units, the 11th straight month of decline, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Mini Vehicles Association said.

Sales of cars, trucks and buses, excluding minivehicles, plunged 25.5% to 216,510 vehicles, the 12th straight month of decline, while sales of minivehicles dived 15.6% to 113,328 units, the 11th consecutive monthly drop.

While shortages of new vehicles after the March earthquake and tsunami are being resolved, the decline also reflects the spike in sales in August last year before subsidies for purchasing eco-friendly cars ended the following month, an official of the automobile dealers association told Kyodo News.

The association expects sales to begin increasing from year-earlier levels as automakers plan to step up production from this month with the recovery in supply chains.

Excluding minivehicles, car sales in August dropped 29.5% to 188,656 vehicles, and bus sales fell 4.2% to 1,219 units. But truck sales surged 22.5% to 26,635 vehicles due to strong demand after the disaster.

By automaker, sales by Honda Motor Co. plunged 49.1% to 25,549 vehicles and Mazda also suffered a 44.1% fall.