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October 7, 2020

Japan sales fall 14% in September

Japan's new vehicle market continued to decline in September 2020, by over 14% to 469,705 units from strong year earlier sales of 548,209 units, according to registration data released by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

By bcusack

Japan's new vehicle market continued to decline in September 2020, by over 14% to 469,705 units from strong year earlier sales of 548,209 units, according to registration data released by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

The domestic vehicle market has been in decline for a year, with sales affected by a general sales tax hike in the fourth quarter of 2019, followed by the COVID-19 pandemic this year – with consumers retrenching further amid rising economic uncertainty. GDP plunged by almost 28% year on year in the second quarter of 2020, as domestic consumption and exports plummeted, after shrinking by 3.4% in the first quarter.

Vehicle sales in the first nine months of the year declined by just over 18% to 3,400,266 units compared with 4,149,685 units a year earlier, with third quarter sales falling by 14.6% to 1,192,490 units after declines of 32% in the second quarter and 10% in the first quarter of the year.

Passenger car sales fell by 18.1% to 2,817,950 units year to date while truck sales were down by 17.6% at 574,546 units and bus sales declined by almost 30% to 7,770 units.

Toyota was one of the best performing major brands in the market year to date, with sales falling by just 13% to 1,057,708 units, while second placed Suzuki reported a 13.7% decline to 469,264 units, Honda 468,689 (-21.9%), Daihatsu 428,802 (-17.8%), Nissan 356,960 units (-23.6%) and Mazda 137,327 units (-15.8%).

Sales of imported vehicles fell by 12.7% to 31,564 units in September and by just over 20% to 182,973 units in the first nine months of the year.

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