By on April 2, 2012

New car sales in Japan rose 72 percent in March to 751,888 vehicles. Sales of registered vehicles climbed 78.2 percent to 497,959, says the Japan Automobile Dealers Association JADA. Sales of separately reported mini vehicles rose 60.5 percent to 253,929, as indicated by data of the Japan Mini Vehicles Association.

To put this amazing surge in perspective, one needs to go back a year to March 2011. On March 11, Japan was hit by the biggest post-war disaster in form of the earthquake, tsunami and resulting meltdown. Sales of regular cars dropped 37 percent in that month, those of minivehicles sunk 31.6 percent. The resulting base effect is boosted even more by green car subsidies that had lifted Japanese car sales by 35 percent in the first two month of the year.

Sales by Manufacturer, March 2012, Japan, Registered Vehicles

Manufacturer Mar’12 Mar’11 YoY YTD’12 YTD’11 Change
Daihatsu 374 295 26.8% 860 850 1.2%
Hino 6,972 5,108 36.5% 12,423 9,749 27.4%
Honda 67,267 43,329 55.2% 161,976 105,516 53.5%
Isuzu 10,295 6,012 71.2% 18,396 11,321 62.5%
Lexus 5,437 4,417 23.1% 12,149 10,508 15.6%
Mazda 24,839 15,320 62.1% 51,816 39,920 29.8%
Mitsubishi 9,832 6,734 46.0% 20,236 14,743 37.3%
Mitsubishi Fuso 5,139 3,272 57.1% 9,785 6,535 49.7%
Nissan 81,145 45,700 77.6% 176,474 119,134 48.1%
Subaru 15,670 7,574 106.9% 29,193 19,871 46.9%
Suzuki 12,055 8,512 41.6% 26,039 22,564 15.4%
Toyota 225,921 110,667 104.1% 509,431 310,393 64.1%
UD Trucks 1,241 947 31.0% 2,487 1,964 26.6%
Other 31,772 21,502 47.8% 63,174 46,109 37.0%
Total 497,959 279,389 78.2% 1,094,439 719,177 52.2%

(Regular vehicles only. By manufacturer data of mini vehicles not yet available.)

So far, total sales of all vehicles are up 47.5 percent in the first quarter of 2012. A total of  1,687,445 vehicles wre sold January through March, 2012, compared to  1,144,384 in the same period of 2011. Expect this trend to accelerate in the next months that compare with post-tsunami months on 2011. In the market share department (regular vehicles,) Toyota gained 3.4 percent in the first quarter. Most other competitors are slightly negative. Mazda lost nearly a percent of share in the first quarter.

(Close your eyes when you see reports by the Associated Press. They must have been drunk when they wrote that “auto sales climbed 3 per cent in January-March from a year earlier to 3.1 million vehicles.” Pure garbage, correct data above.)



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One Comment on “Japan In March 2012: New Car Sales Jump 72 Percent...”

  • avatar

    Bertel, how come these numbers never show the imports? Are they listed as “Other?” I am always wondering how well Lexus is doing compared to the German luxury cars, since the internet meme of a few years ago was that Lexus could not even compete in their home market.

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