Sales of imported cars in Japan fell 1.8 percent in April from the same month
a year before, reflecting Japan’s struggle to emerge from its worst economic slowdown
in decades, Associated Press reported, citing an industry group.

A total of 18,716 vehicles – 18,096 passenger cars and 620 trucks –
were sold last month, down from 19,057 a year ago, the Japan Automobile Importers
Association said.

The importers’ data includes vehicles manufactured abroad by Japanese
companies.

The April figure followed a 3.9 percent rise in March, a 1.1 percent fall in
February and a 2.7 percent increase in January.

Mercedes-Benz outranked Volkswagen as Japan’s most popular imported brand in
April. M-B took a 20.39 percent share, with sales of 3,817 units, up 11.2 percent.

Volkswagen sold 3,674 units last month, up 8.7 percent, with a 19.63 percent
share. BMW‘s April sales totaled 2,110 units, up 3.3 percent, with a 11.27 percent
market share.

Sales of the German-American automaker’s Chrysler brand reached 721, up 51.5
percent from the same month of last year, but remained only seventh in the overall
ranking. It had a market share of 3.85 percent in April, Associated Press said.