31 January 2016

Japan Car Sales By Brand : 2015

Lexus grew 9% in a falling market

Total registrations in Japan were down 10.3%, or nearly 500,000 units less. Despite that it is only the lowest since 2011. Tax on small kei cars was increased early in the year, causing this very popular segment to lose customers and a loss of total sales. The list is coded the following way: green = increase, blue decrease but less than the total sales and yellow loss of sales and share. We'll look at the locals brands, then the imports.

Local: If you look at the the rankings 1-8 below, you will notice they are all local brands. The only one not there is Lexus, back at 11th. I have records going back to 1970 and Toyota has been the top ranked all that time. It was down 5.4% in 2016, but still managed to increase its market share. Only Mazda and Lexus grew faster than total sales with most lost market share.

CEO of Mercedez-Benz Japan a happy man no doubt

Imports: Total import sales dropped 1.4% from 288,000 to 284,00 which was better than sales as a whole. The reason was mainly because imports do not sell in the kei car category and that is where much of the loss was sustained.

VW was hurt by the scandal. In Japan face is important and VW lost face here. In a few short months its sales tumbled and for the first time since at least 1968 (my records) it lost the prized place as largest import brand. Mercedes Benz now has that, and had a nice nice increase as well.

One interesting fact is that the Japanese will not buy Korean cars. Morgan equalled Hyundai and Maybach outsold Kia. How often does that happen? Another quirk is that MG Rover has not stopped selling cars since its demise over ten years ago. They must have had plenty of stock. The importer, it seems, has patiently sold them.


11 12 13 14 15 Make 2015 % +/-

1 1 1 1 1 Toyota 1,271,663 30.2% -5.4%

3 2 2 2 2 Honda 698,444 16.6% -14.4%

4 5 4 3 3 Suzuki 504,152 12.0% -20.5%

2 3 3 4 4 Nissan 484,357 11.5% -14.9%

5 4 5 5 5 Daihatsu 468,141 11.1% -14.5%

6 6 6 6 6 Mazda 221,834 5.3% 11.4%

8 7 7 7 7 Subaru 147,552 3.5% -4.0%

7 8 8 8 8 Mitsubishi 86,954 2.1% -15.4%

12 11 10 10 9 Mercedes 65,159 1.5% 7.1%

9 9 9 9 10 VW 54,765 1.3% -18.8%

10 10 11 12 11 Lexus 48,231 1.1% 9.0%

11 12 12 11 12 BMW 46,538 1.1% 1.0%

13 13 13 13 13 Audi 29,414 0.7% -6.4%

14 14 14 14 14 MINI 21,083 0.5% 19.8%

15 15 15 15 15 Volvo 13,510 0.3% 1.8%

18 16 16 16 16 Chrysler 7,849 0.2% -6.7%

17 17 17 17 17 Fiat 7,504 0.2% -1.8%

19 19 19 19 18 Porsche 6,690 0.2% 24.2%

16 18 18 18 19 Peugeot 5,906 0.1% 3.4%

21 23 21 20 20 Renault 5,082 0.1% 9.0%

22 22 20 21 21 Ford 4,856 0.1% 5.6%

27 25 22 22 22 Land Rover 2,979 0.1% -4.7%

24 20 23 23 23 Alfa Romeo 2,321 0.1% -12.8%

20 21 24 24 24 Citroën 1,978
-14.8%

30 29 29 26 25 Maserati 1,449
3.0%

23 24 25 25 26 GM US 1,422
-18.9%

26 27 27 28 27 Jaguar 1,349
25.7%

25 26 26 27 28 smart 1,012
-9.2%

- - - 36 29 DS 925
n/a

28 28 28 29 30 Ferrari 720
28.3%

32 31 31 31 31 Bentley 370
16.7%

33 32 33 32 32 Lamborghini 349
86.6%

29 30 30 30 33 Lotus 271
-15.6%

31 33 32 33 34 Aston Martin 164
-2.4%

35 35 34 34 35 Rolls Royce 156
1.3%

- 38 35 35 36 Mclaren 90
2.3%

36 36 37 37 37 MG Rover 54
10.2%

34 34 36 38 38 Lancia 33
-26.7%

39 40 38 39 39 Morgan 14
-33.3%

38 37 39 40 39 Hyundai 14
7.7%

42 42 43 42 41 Bugatti 5
150.0%

37 39 40 41 42 Saab 4
-20.0%

43 - - 42 42 Opel 4
100.0%

40 41 41 44 44 Maybach 2
100.0%

41 43 42 - 45 Kia 1
n/a






Others 519






Total 4,215,889
-10.3%

Data source: JAMA & JAIA.

Mazda bucked the trend for a Japanese brand with an increase

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