By on January 7, 2013

The Japanese new car market ended the year 2012 up 27.5 percent to 5,369,721 units. You may read other numbers elsewhere, but that’s because it is often overlooked that regular vehicles and mini vehicles are reported separately in Japan. At TTAC, we consolidate them as a service to our readers.

Japan ends the year without the big double-digit drop some prophesied for the last quarter after government incentives expired in September.  The market is down slightly in December, and up strongly for the year.

Regular vehicle sales Japan December 2012
Manufacturer Dec ’12 Dec ’11 YoY YTD ’12 YTD ’11 YoY
Daihatsu 210 227 -7.5% 2,990 3,101 -3.6%
Hino 3,996 3,446 16.0% 42,463 34,238 24.0%
Honda 18,886 30,943 -39.0% 423,904 378,530 12.0%
Isuzu 5,405 4,294 25.9% 59,805 42,096 42.1%
Lexus 2,967 2,242 32.3% 43,657 42,365 3.0%
Mazda 9,291 9,216 0.8% 165,755 144,452 14.7%
Mitsubishi 3,508 3,446 1.8% 60,397 54,951 9.9%
Mitsubishi Fuso 2,885 2,584 11.6% 34,715 27,032 28.4%
Nissan 31,103 34,126 -8.9% 506,518 445,937 13.6%
Subaru 11,293 6,847 64.9% 108,071 73,806 46.4%
Suzuki 4,922 5,758 -14.5% 88,181 76,765 14.9%
Toyota 91,740 94,970 -3.4% 1,603,150 1,151,075 39.3%
UD Trucks 738 876 -15.8% 9,104 8,469 7.5%
Other 27,485 22,985 19.6% 241,564 206,257 17.1%
Total 214,429 221,960 -3.4% 3,390,274 2,689,074 26.1%
Data courtesy Japan Automobile Dealers Association

Sales of regular vehicles were down 3.4 percent in December and up 26.1 percent for the year, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association reports. Honda and Nissan were underperforming, Toyota outperformed the market.

Mini vehicle sales Japan December 2012
Manufacturer Dec ’12 Dec ’11 YoY YTD ’12 YTD ’11 YoY
Suzuki 35,386 37,901 -6.6% 584,957 476,138 22.9%
Daihatsu 41,486 47,351 -12.4% 674,181 545,178 23.7%
Mitsubishi 4,964 6,728 -26.2% 80,096 92,673 -13.6%
Subaru 2,884 8,606 -66.5% 69,651 84,895 -18.0%
Honda 25,912 10,516 146.4% 321,301 125,002 157.0%
Mazda 3,096 2,916 6.2% 52,606 45,473 15.7%
Nissan 7,943 11,034 -28.0% 153,337 145,433 5.4%
Toyota 2,402 2,188 9.8% 43,259 6,308 585.8%
Other 2 5 -60.0% 59 45 31.1%
Total 124,075 127,245 -2.5% 1,979,447 1,521,145 30.1%
Data courtesy Japan Mini Vehicles Association

Sales of mini vehicles fell in line with their bigger brothers after having been ahead for the previous months: Up 30.1 percent for the year, and down 2.5 percent for December, according to data provided by the Japan Mini Vehicles Association. Honda continues its attack of the mini vehicle market with its highly successful NBOX series.

Total vehicle sales Japan December 2012
Manufacturer Dec ’12 Dec ’11 YoY YTD ’12 YTD ’11 YoY
Daihatsu 41,696 47,578 -12.4% 677,171 548,279 23.5%
Hino 3,996 3,446 16.0% 42,463 34,238 24.0%
Honda 44,798 41,459 8.1% 745,205 503,532 48.0%
Isuzu 5,405 4,294 25.9% 59,805 42,096 42.1%
Lexus 2,967 2,242 32.3% 43,657 42,365 3.0%
Mazda 12,387 12,132 2.1% 218,361 189,925 15.0%
Mitsubishi 8,472 10,174 -16.7% 140,493 147,624 -4.8%
Mitsubishi Fuso 2,885 2,584 11.6% 34,715 27,032 28.4%
Nissan 39,046 45,160 -13.5% 659,855 591,370 11.6%
Subaru 14,177 15,453 -8.3% 177,722 158,701 12.0%
Suzuki 40,308 43,659 -7.7% 673,138 552,903 21.7%
Toyota 94,142 97,158 -3.1% 1,646,409 1,157,383 42.3%
UD Trucks 738 876 -15.8% 9,104 8,469 7.5%
Other 27,487 22,990 19.6% 241,623 206,302 17.1%
Total 338,504 349,205 -3.1% 5,369,721 4,210,219 27.5%

Consolidated, the Japanese market ends in much better shape than many predicted: Up 27.5 percent for the year, and only a slight 3.1 percent loss in December, compared to a subsidized previous year.

This year will be a different story.

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