Japan's new vehicle market jumped by 12.5% to 418,992 units in October from strong year earlier sales of 372,469 units, according to registration data released by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

The rise comes after a sluggish third quarter for the market, with economic activity in the country held back by a series of natural disasters. GDP is expected to have shrunk by 1% year on year during the quarter, after expanding by 3% in the second quarter.

The vehicle market in the first 10 months of the year was 0.2% higher at 4,442,598 units from 4,433,052 units in the same period of last year, reflecting mainly a 3% rise in truck sales to 716,957 units while passenger vehicle sales were down by 0.3% at to 3,714,182 units.

Medium and heavy duty bus sales were almost 16% lower at 11,459 units after strong growth in previous years.

Toyota was the main loser YTD with sales falling 5.4% to 1,265,555 units while second placed Honda saw volume rise 3% to 629,253 units; Suzuki 603,740 units (+6.4%); Daihatsu 543,371 units (+2.1%); Nissan 533,553 units (2.9%); and Mazda 188,033 units (+4.1%).