Japan's new vehicle market expanded by 2.1% to 407,975 units in January from 399,540 units a year earlier, according to registration data released by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

After a volatile second half of 2018, with economic growth significantly disrupted by a series of natural disasters in the third quarter, the auto industry was relieved to see the market start 2019 on a positive note. Volume was driven higher last month by a 9.3% rise in truck sales to 64,645 units while sales of medium and large buses increased by 3.1% to 853 units. Passenger car sales struggled to make progress however, with a rise of just 0.8% to 342,477 units.

Toyota saw its sales rise by 4.8% year-on-year to 111,922 units in January after declining by 5% in the whole of 2018 while second-placed Honda's sales rose 8.7% to 61,348 units; Suzuki 57,776 (+8.2%); Daihatsu 55,255 units (+3.1%); Nissan 53,290 units (-5.4%); and Mazda 16,607 units (-6.1%).

Auto market intelligence
from just-auto

• Auto component fitment forecasts
• OEM & tier 1 profiles & factory finder
• Analysis of 30+ auto technologies & more