JAPAN: Thai-made Nissan boosts Japan imports rise

By just-auto.com editorial team | 7 October 2010

Sales of new imported vehicles in Japan, including those made by Japanese automakers overseas, rose 34.7% in the first half of the fiscal year ending next March.

They increased 119,053 units from the same period a year ago, the first upward movement in the April-September period for three years.

The launch of Nissan's Thai-made March [Micra] compact car in Japan in July boosted  sales of imported vehicles, according to the Japan Automobile Importers Association.

The government's subsidy programme for purchasing environment-friendly vehicles also helped sales to recover from a fall in the same period last year.

Sales of Japanese brand imported cars, trucks and buses surged 187% to 23,652 units while those of foreign-brand vehicles rose 19% to 95,401 units. Sales of passenger cars rose 37.2% to 113,904 units while trucks fell 5.2% to 5,094.

Volkswagen ranked as the best-selling importer in the six-month period, selling 25,399 units, followed by Nissan (16,869) and BMW (16,734). In September, overall sales of new imported vehicles including Japanese brands jumped 45% to 30,004 units, the 11th month of increase.