The new vehicle market in Japan continued to decline sharply in January 2020, by almost 12% to 360,103 units from 407,975 units a year earlier, according to registration data released by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA).

Passenger car sales declined by over 12% to 301,194 units while truck sales fell by 10% to 58,147 units and bus sales were down by 11% at 762 units. 

Toyota was the best-performing major brand in the market in January, with sales falling by just 4.3% to 107,081 units, followed by Suzuki with 51,034 units (-11.7%), Daihatsu 47,483 (-14.1%), Honda 46,692 units (-23.9%), Nissan 42,231 units (-20.8%), and Mazda 15,194 units (-8.5%).

The market has been in decline since the government hiked general sales tax from 8% to 10% at the beginning of October.

This had a significant impact on domestic consumption in the fourth quarter of last year after businesses and consumers pulled purchases forward ahead of the increase.

Sales in the fourth quarter of 2019 declined by 16.3% to 1,045,531 units, resulting in a 1.5% drop in full year sales to 5,195,216 units.