Japan's new vehicle market shrank by 2% to 485,379 units in September from strong year-earlier sales of 495,188 units according to registration data released by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

The country's economy has rebounded from a year-on-year decline in the first quarter with annualised growth of 3% in the second quarter. Further strong growth took place in the third quarter, driven by buoyant domestic consumption and exports.

The market in the first nine months of the year was still 0.9% lower at 4,023,608 units from 4,060,583 units in the same period of last year, reflecting mainly a 1.3% fall in passenger vehicle sales to 3,367,309 units while truck sales increased by 1.7% to 645,783 units.

Medium and heavy-duty bus sales were almost 18% lower at 10,516 units after strong growth in previous years.

Toyota was the main loser in the nine-month period with sales falling by 6.7% to 1,136,986 units, while second-placed Honda saw its volumes rise by 2.4% to 565,410 units; Suzuki 549,537 units (+6%); Daihatsu 486,940 units (+1.3%); Nissan 490,833 units (-1.1%); and Mazda 173,695 units (+4.3%).