By on March 8, 2012

More than one fifth of new passenger cars sold in Japan are hybrids. For the second month in a row, hybrid sales exceeded the 20 percent mark, data released by the Japan Automobile Dealer Association (see table) show. Two companies profit most from this new hybrid boom.

At Honda, sales were up 38 percent for the Fit and 89 percent for the Freed. Hybrid versions are said to be 60 percent of Fit sales and more than 40 percent of Freed sales.

Hybrids are especially important for Toyota, where they now amount to nearly half of Toyota’s sales in Japan, says The Nikkei [sub]. For the ninth month running, the Prius is the best-selling car in Japan. February sales of the Prius rose nearly 88 percent compared to February 2011. Its smaller brother, the Aqua compact hybrid (sold in the U.S. as Prius C,) is number three on the list with 21,951 units sold. Toyota had originally planned for 12,000 Aqua/Prius C a month, and is unable to keep up with the demand. A customer who places an order now will get it around August this year.

Tomorrow, I will be at Toyota’s Iwate plant, in Japan’s tsunami-ravaged North. Here, they make the Aqua / Prius C. I will try to check what the holdup is. Expect the report on Saturday.

Japan, February 2012

Rank Model Brand Units YoY
1 Prius Toyota 35,875 87.7%
2 Fit Honda 24,973 48.0%
3 Aqua Toyota 21,951 N/A
4 Freed Honda 13,293 89.0%
5 Vitz Toyota 11,288 -31.5%
6 Serena Nissan 10,555 9.4%
7 Corolla Toyota 6,923 6.6%
8 Vellfire Toyota 6,899 55.8%
9 Note Nissan 6,742 71.6%
10 Voxy Toyota 6,293 22.4%
11 Step Wagon Honda 6,054 17.5%
12 Demio Mazda 5,906 13.7%
13 Passo Toyota 5,774 -2.3%
14 Lactis Toyota 5,706 -15.9%
15 Cube Nissan 5,384 73.7%
16 March Nissan 4,850 3.7%
17 Juke Nissan 4,541 40.5%
18 Noah Toyota 4,435 6.0%
19 Alphard Toyota 4,353 53.1%
20 Wish Toyota 3,719 -3.1%
21 Solio Suzuki 3,629 -8.8%
22 Estima Toyota 3,547 -4.4%
23 Swift Suzuki 3,436 21.7%
24 X-TRAIL Nissan 3,416 21.2%
25 Impreza Subaru 3,377 68.1%
26 Tidus Nissan 3,295 42.4%
27 Crown Toyota 3,232 -10.1%
28 Sienta Toyota 3,132 1114.0%
29 Elgrand Nissan 2,836 50.0%
30 Isis Toyota 2,469 46.9%
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