New vehicle sales in Japan fell by 4.1% to 380,089 units in October, from 396,505 units a year earlier, according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA).
The JAMA data was released ahead of news that the Japanese economy shrank by a second consecutive quarter in the July-September period, by 0.2% quarter-on-quarter and by 0.8% year-on-year.
The vehicle market was driven lower mainly by weak demand for mini-vehicles, with sales of mini-cars and mini-trucks both declining by around 11% to 108,684 and 30,616 units respectively.
Sales of larger passenger vehicles were unchanged at 206,608 units last month, while truck sales were up by just over 1% at 33,259 units and sales of medium and large bus and coaches increased by 8.3% to 1,022 units.
In the first ten months of the year, total vehicle sales fell by just over 9% to 4,288,237 units, from 4,714,816 units in the same period of last year.
Toyota sales were down by 6% at 1,220,104 units in the ten-month period, while second-placed Honda saw its sales fall by 15.8% to 624,772 units; Suzuki 543,822 units (-14.7%); Daihatsu 512,980 (-11.1); Nissan 510,066 units (-12.9%); Mazda 217,406 units (+14.6%).