Japan’s vehicle sales – excluding 660cc kei class vehicles – fell 13.1% in October to 233,922 units according to date released by the Japan Automobile Dealers Association (JADA).

The trade body said that sluggish consumer spending and worsening economic conditions were responsible for the large drop – the third straight monthly decline.

Passenger car sales fell 13.4% to 202,572 units in comparison with brisk sales the year before on the back of Toyota’s launch of the new Corolla Rumion compact hatchback.

Sales at Toyota Motor Corp , excluding the Lexus brand, fell 13.6%, while those at Nissan Motor Co fell 19.6%. Honda Motor Co achieved a gain of 10.1%

Truck sales decreased 11.4% to 30,261 units, while bus sales rose 6.8% to 1,089 units.

In the January-October period, auto sales fell 3% from a year earlier to 2.81m units, indicating that total sales for 2008 will fall below last year’s 3.43m total.