|Daihatsu are a big mini car maker. Now 100% Toyota owned|
Japanese brands dominate the local sales but didn't do so well in 2015. the reason can be seen below. With Japan reducing incentives to buy mini or Kei cars, the effect is of interest. Let's look at the facts.
Standard cars: They accounted for 32% of sales and were down 5.8%. Toyota was down 12% in this area, while imports were up marginally at +1.8%.
Small cars: Toyota increased to 56.4% of this category and held sales at the 2014 level. Overall they were down 5.1%.
Mini cars: This specialist area tumbled 17.8% with reduced incentives. Brands that do well here felt the impact, Suzuki in particular.
Total: Mazda and Lexus were the only brands to increase and they sell mainly and exclusively in the standard size car. Imports likewise are mainly of that category and fared better than the total market.
Data source: JAMA.
Summary: The reduction in assistance to Kei cars is the right move. It's out of date and artificially affecting car buying patterns. What the longer term policy is I do not know, but like any change the market will soon find its level. Car makers will adjust to meet the new situation.
|Mazda isn't reliant on mini cars thankfully|