Japan In February 2012: Market In Full Bloom

japan in february 2012 market in full bloom

When Toyota announced an ambitious sales plan for 2012, and the intention to raise sales in Japan by 36 percent, a common reaction was: “Excuse me?”

In February 2011, sales of passenger vehicles excluding minivehicles had been down 14.3 percent. Sales in Japan had been down for most of the year, as a result of cut subsidies. When smaller inducements came back in fall, sales were up again. We are comparing with a low base. As matters are coming back to normal we better get used to a stretch of double digit gains.

Compared to the low base, Toyota’s plan is entirely doable. So far, the market complies and Toyota is on target.

February 2012 Sales Japan, Excluding Minivehicles

ManufacturerFeb’12Feb’11YoYYTD’12YTD’11ChangeDaihatsu2872860.3%486555-12.4%Hino3,0942,60918.6%5,4524,64117.5%Honda50,44034,38746.7%94,70962,18752.3%Isuzu4,6573,16447.2%8,1015,30952.6%Lexus3,5543,4732.3%6,7126,09110.2%Mazda14,11513,3815.5%26,97724,6009.7%Mitsubishi5,6554,28532.0%10,4048,00929.9%Mitsubishi Fuso2,6381,88440.0%4,6463,26342.4%Nissan55,67944,21225.9%95,32973,43429.8%Subaru7,6067,4062.7%13,52312,29710.0%Suzuki7,6137,632-0.2%13,98414,052-0.5%Toyota158,877115,00038.2%283,510199,72641.9%UD Trucks69060015.0%1,2451,01722.4%Other18,30814,31527.9%31,40224,60727.6%Total333,213252,63431.9%596,480439,78835.6%

In February, Japan’s domestic sales of new cars, trucks and buses excluding minivehicles rose 31.9 percent from a year earlier to 333,213 vehicles, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association says. The market is up for the sixth consecutive month.

February 2012 Sales Japan, Minivehicles


Sales of minivehicles were up 27 percent to 186,413 units in February, data of the Japan Mini Vehicles Association shows. The share of minivehicles was 36 percent in February.

February 2012 Sales Japan, All Vehicles

ManufacturerFeb’12Feb’11YoYMS Feb’12MS Feb’11Daihatsu64,25651,22325.4%12.4%12.8%Hino3,0942,60918.6%0.6%0.7%Honda77,15548,74058.3%14.8%12.1%Isuzu4,6573,16447.2%0.9%0.8%Lexus3,5543,4732.3%0.7%0.9%Mazda19,36217,57210.2%3.7%4.4%Mitsubishi14,53013,7665.5%2.8%3.4%Mitsubishi Fuso2,6381,88440.0%0.5%0.5%Nissan72,11960,37919.4%13.9%15.0%Subaru17,17815,59310.2%3.3%3.9%Suzuki59,63152,97112.6%11.5%13.2%Toyota162,451115,00041.3%31.3%28.7%UD Trucks69060015.0%0.1%0.1%Other18,31114,31827.9%3.5%3.6%Total519,626401,29229.5%

Overall, the market is up 29.5 percent. Toyota and Honda are gaining, Nissan and Suzuki are losing market share.

Join the conversation
 1 comment
  • Mike978 Mike978 on Mar 02, 2012

    Bertel - I was one of those wondering how Toyota would increase by 36% in Japan during 2012. Thanks for the explanation of starting from a low base (a bit like Chrysler is doing). Toyota (and Honda) did out perform the market in Japan. But they both under-performed the growing market in the US in February. So a mixed bag.

  • Johnster Not feelin' it. The traditional unreliability of turbo engines is a big turn-off, especially in a work truck that (I hope) you'd want to keep on the road for 200,000 miles or more without having major repairs.
  • ToolGuy Car audio is way overpriced.
  • Marty S The original Charger was a 2 door, as was the landmark 68 model. Its funny that some younger commenters are surprised that its not a four door. I never understood why modern Chargers have been four door sedans. I think the best looking Charger was the 68, absolutely perfect in its lines and proportions. This concept really emulates that and I think I think it looks great.
  • Master Baiter The D-bag elites like Al Gore demanding that we all switch to EVs are the type of people who don't actually drive. They get chauffeured around in black Yukon Denalis. Tesla does have a good charging network--maybe someday they will produce a car that doesn't suck.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird As a Challenger GT awd owner I lIke it’s heritage inspired styling a lot. There’s a lot of 66-67 as well as 68-70 Charger in there. It’s refreshing that it doesn’t look like a blob like Tesla, Volt/Bolt, Mach-e BMW I whatever etc. The fact that it’s a hatch makes it even better as a everyday driver thus eliminating the need for a CUV. If it’s well built and has a reliable track record I can see trading up to it in a few years.