New vehicle sales in Japan tumbled more 25% in October from the same month a year ago, the steepest year on year fall in 18 months as subsidies for green cars ended.

The Japanese Automobile Dealers Association said that sales of new cars, trucks and buses, totalled 193,258 units in October, down 26.7% from a year earlier.

The drop followed a 4.1% fall in September and was the biggest decline since a 28.6% drop in April 2009. A JAMA official said that the main reason for the fall was the ending of government incentives which encouraged people to buy more environmentally-friendly vehicles. The scheme ran out at the end of September.

 The end of the scheme was a further blow to Japanese carmakers who are struggling to cope with the yen's strength against other major currencies.