The Honda Fit [aka Jazz] subcompact has toppled the Toyota Prius to top of the sales rankings in Japan for the first time in more than three years.

According to confirmed data from the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Minivehicles Association, Fit took over as number one in January from the Prius which has topped the charts for a credible 19 months. The Toyota hybrid dropped to third place, partly because Japanese government incentives on ec0-friendly vehicles have finished.

Sales of the Fit jumped 13.9% from a year earlier to 14,873 units due to the launch of a hybrid model last October with a price tag of JPY1.59m (US$19,500), the lowest among hybrids sold in Japan.

Daihatsu’s Move mini vehicle ranked second with monthly sales rising to 14,209 units from 10,823 the previous month as an all-new model hit the market in December.

The Prius sold 13,711 units, down 38.5% from a year earlier, following the end of the government subsidy for eco-friendly car purchases in September.

Suzuki’s WagonR mini vehicle was fourth and Toyota’s newly redesigned Vitz [Yaris] subcompact fifth.

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