Japan 2018. Lexus & Mitsubishi shine in a flat market

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Japan Auto Market
Mitsubishi-Eclipse_Cross-2018

Japan Auto Market was flat in the 2018 with registrations closing at 5.269.442 (+0.1%), ending positively for the second year in a row. Toyota – down 6% – is the market leader, ahead of Honda and Suzuki. Impressive performances scored by Lexus and Mitsubishi. 

Economic Environment

Japanese economy fared worse than initially reported in the third quarter as strong typhoons and a powerful earthquake severely disrupted economic activity. The economy is, however, expected to return to growth in the fourth quarter as supply chains recover from the natural disasters. The manufacturing PMI averaged slightly higher in Q4 than in Q3, while confidence among large manufacturing firms steadied at relatively high levels in the same period.

Fundamentals should remain robust next year thanks to ultra-loose monetary policy, a tight labor market and construction works related to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. A scheduled tax hike and rising trade protectionism will weigh on growth, however.

Market Trend

Japanese vehicles market is the third in the World and really mature. In the recent years total sales had been between 5.0 million and 5.5 million (in the 2014). The 2017 was extremely positive and, according to the data released by the JADAJAMA and JAIA, the total vehicles (including HCVs and Bus) sold in the country have been 5.26 million (+5.3%)

In the 2018, the total vehicles market (including HCVs and Bus) was flat. Having started negatively the year, down 24% in the first quarter, the sales have recovered ending at 5.269.442 (+0.1%). This is the second consecutive positive annual score, the best result since 2014.

Competitive Arena

Considering only the car passenger’s (including kei-cars) segment, the competitive landscapes in 2018 was dominated by Toyota, selling 1.328.961 vehicles (-6%).

Honda is second with 703.066 registrations (+0.9%) followed by Suzuki with 568.828 (+7.5%), Nissan with 503.600 (+3.5%), Daihatsu with 486.875 (-5.3%),  Mazda with 197.314 (+8.1%), Subaru with 137.538 sales (-16.7%), Mitsubishi with 91.861 units (+17.2%) and Mercedes with 67.554 sales (-1%).

In 10th place Lexus with 55.096 (+20.8%), followed by Volkswagen with 51.961 (+6%) and BMW with 50.982 sales (-2.9%).

At model level, the 2018 market leader is the Honda N-Box with 241870 sales (+10.7%), followed by the Suzuki Spacia with 152.104 (+66.3%) and the Nissan Dayz with 141.495 (+2.9%).

In the regular car ranking, the Nissan Note is the best-selling model, scoring its ever annual win with 136.324 (-1.9%) units sold.

Tables with sales figures

In the tables below we report sales for all Brands, top 10 Manufacturers Group and top 10 Models.

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