Three weeks after its 1 October launch, Volkswagen’s new ultracompact up! passenger car is a hit in Japan.

Orders have exceeded 3,000 units, Volkswagen Group Japan KK told the Nikkei business daily.

At this pace, the one-litre vehicle may beat the Golf subcompact to become the German automaker’s most successful new car launch in Japan.

The original ‘Mark One’ Golf was a huge hit in Japan and the top-selling imported car for years. Hundreds shipped to Japan in the 1970s and ’80s were later re-exported to New Zealand from the late ’80s when that market was opened up to unlimited imports of used cars.