New vehicle sales in Japan rose 9% to 411,089 units in November 2023 from 377,079 a year earlier, according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA).

Volume continued to recover from last year’s supply chain bottlenecks when acute semiconductor shortage severely impacted domestic vehicle output.

The economy shrank 2.1% year on year in the third quarter following a strong rebound a year earlier, according to provisional government data, reflecting falling capital expenditure, weakening exports and flat consumer spending.

In November the government announced additional economic stimuli worth JPY17trn (US$115bn), including residential tax cuts and grants to low income households, to help strengthen the domestic economy and ease the effects of high inflation. The economy was expected to continue to slow in the fourth quarter, however, against strong year earlier data.

In the first 11 months of 2023 the market expanded 14% to 4,416,247 units after declining 6% to 3,856,956 a year ago.

Passenger vehicle sales rose 17% to 3,691,156 units while truck sales were 4% higher at 717,615 units. Sales of buses and coaches surged 53% to 7,476 units as demand for travel continued to recover following Covid lockdowns.

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By GlobalData

Toyota sales increased 27% to 1,467,987 units year to date (YTD) following its severe supply chain shortages last year while Suzuki volume rose 9% to 603,782 units, Daihatsu 551,591 (+5%), Honda 540,320 (+4%), Nissan 446,815 (+8%) and Mazda 167,268 (+12%).

In the last two weeks, Toyota and Nissan both announced they were stepping up their investments to expand battery electric vehicle (BEV) ranges in global markets to take on the growing challenge from other global automakers, particularly the Chinese.

Toyota also launched the new Crown executive sedan in Japan last month which followed the launch of the redesigned flagship LandCruiser SUV earlier in the year.