Sales of new vehicles, including minivehicles, in Japan rose 3.3% year on year to 4,753,273 units in the fiscal year which ended 31 March, boosted by an early recovery in production following the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

The Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Mini Vehicles Association reported that new vehicle sales posted the first rise in two years. In the April-September period last year, new vehicle sales fell 25.6% to 1,247,774 but soared 40.2% to 1,816,562 units in the second half.

The disaster stalled auto production by disrupting component supply chains, triggering sharp declines in new vehicle sales.