Japan's new vehicle market expanded by 6.5% to 396,120 units in May 2019 from flat year earlier sales of 371,864 units, according to registration data released by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

Sales were slightly higher in the first five months of the year, by 1.1% at 2,303,022 units from 2,278,713 units in the same period of last year. The country's economy unexpectedly expanded by 2.1% in the first quarter, driven mainly by a 6.2% rise in public sector investment as well as net export gains. 

The passenger car market reversed a first quarter decline with sales up by 0.1% at 1,918,727 units in the five month period, while truck sales increased by 6.3% to 377,989 units. Sales of medium and large buses fell by 1.0% to 6,306 units. 

Toyota's sales rose by 4.5% to 664,721 units year-to-date after declining by 5% in the whole of 2018; while second-placed Honda's sales were up by 4.0% at 336,029 units; Suzuki 323,825 (+4.2%); Daihatsu 290,786 units (+3.3%); Nissan 261,194 units (-8.1%); and Mazda 90,107 units (-10.8%).

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