Imported vehicle sales in Japan during May reached 20,455, up 3.8 percent on May 2000, Kyodo News reported, citing figures from the Japan Automobile Importers Association.

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That figure included 19,956 passenger cars, up four percent from May 2000, and 499 trucks, down 2.7 percent, Kyodo News said, adding that no imported buses were sold last month.

The figure includes 1,211 vehicles manufactured overseas by Japanese vehicle makers, mostly in the U.S.

Vehicles sold in May made by foreign manufacturers accounted for 19,244, up 9.1 percent, Kyodo News said.

The report added that the slight rise in sales in May followed a 1.8 percent on-year decline in April, a 3.9 percent advance in March, a 1.1 percent drop in February and a 2.7 percent rise in January.

Volkswagen was the most popular foreign brand in May, taking a 21.56 percent share of the import market with sales of 4,410 units, up 5.1 percent on year.

Mercedes-Benz took a 19.16 percent market share, with sales of 3,919 units, up 14.7 percent while BMW's May sales were up 27.1 percent.

Chrysler achieved a 43.1 percent increase but its 767 sales kept it at only seventh in the overall ranking with a 3.75 percent market share for May.


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