Japan’s new vehicle market grew for the first time in 15 months in September 2022, with sales rebounding by over 24% to 395,163 units from very weak year earlier sales of 318,371 units, according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

The market plunged 32% in September 2021 after global supply of semiconductors tightened significantly in the preceding months, forcing leading automakers to suspend operations at a number of domestic plants for prolonged periods.

The market last month was still 70% of pre pandemic levels with supply chain shortages continuing to affect the operations of leading manufacturers such as Toyota and Honda meaning it will take some time before volume returns to levels last seen in 2019.

Vehicle sales in the first nine months of the year declined 10% to 3,120,718 units from 3,480,102 units a year earlier, with passenger vehicle sales falling 11% to 2,560,100 units and truck sales down 7% at 556,593 units, while sales of buses and coaches plunged by a further 27% to 4,025 units.

Toyota sales dropped 17% to 933,640 units YTD with the automaker the worst affected by the supply chain disruptions while Suzuki came in second after a 6.5% drop to 440,432 units followed by Honda with 427,417 units (-4.7%), Daihatsu 406,893 (-8.1%), Nissan 345,077 (-3.6%) and Mazda 121,976 (-0.4%).

Sales of other vehicles including imports were down 14% at 175,297 units.