Japanese sales of new cars and trucks continue their solid comeback in February. Japan has filed away carmageddon. Japan is utterly unimpressed by the Toyota troubles. Japan has not been spared Toyota recalls. The hearings and public apologies have received wide coverage in Japan. And what is the Japanese reaction? A plus 47.9 percent vote of confidence. With the currently very tight Japanese wallets. There is a long waiting list for the Prius, Toyota’s best selling car. [Editor's note: Japan is currently in the throes of its own Cash-for-Clunker prgram]
Also interesting: Sales of minivehicles, formerly feted as the future, are barely holding their own, whereas sales of “real” cars continue their double digit climb. Let’s look at the numbers:
Sales of new cars and trucks rose 35.1 percent year on year to 294,887 units in February, marking the seventh straight month of increase, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association report via The Nikkei [sub]. Passenger car sales went up 39.2 percent, sales of trucks increased 2.4 percent to 7,538 units.
Toyota (ex Daihatsu, Hino and Lexus): 146,145 units sold, up 47.9 percent.
Nissan: 47,948 units sold, up 17.8 percent.
Honda: 41,009 units sold, up 36.2 percent.
Mazda: 16,252 units sold, up 43.7 percent.
Mitsubishi Motors: 6,000 units sold, up 54.6 percent.
Minivehicles, that Japanese phenomenon of pintsized (under 660cc) “cars” are languishing. Sales of minivehicles rose a mere 0.6 percent year on year to 163,341 units in February. That was the second month of pintsized increases. Last month, the kawaii kei kars had recorded their first rise in 15 months with 0.7 percent growth. Numbers are reported by the Japan Mini Vehicles Association via The Nikkei [sub].
Daihatsu: 58,486 units sold, up 2.8 percent.
Suzuki: 51,624 units sold, down 0.2 percent.
Nissan: 15,744 units sold, up 5.7 percent.