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Japan February 2018: Nissan Note repeats, Lexus and Mitsubishi soar

The Nissan Note posts a second concecutive month as #1 regular car in Japan.

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 33 Kei carsTop 50 All-brands and Top 50 cars *

The Japanese new car market slips down 2.2% year-on-year in February to 473.878 registrations, pulling the year-to-date tally further into negative at -1.5% to 873.418 units. Market leader Toyota is struggling: down 10.5% to 27.9% share which is the steepest decline in the Top 6. Honda goes against the grain with a 3% year-on-year gain in 2nd place, distancing Nissan (-2%), Suzuki (+0.7%) and Daihatsu posting a very strong 7.1% improvement. In 9th place overall, Lexus lodges the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 25 at +68.1% with Mitsubishi (+22.4%) also very solid in the remainder of the Top 10 whereas Mazda (-4.1%), Isuzu (-10.6%) and Subaru (-16.4%) all lose significant ground.

The new LS500H helps Lexus up 68.1% year-on-year at home in February.

Further down, Mercedes (+0.7%) remains the most popular foreign carmaker in Japan and the only one holding more than 1% market share but only ranks #12 vs. #10 over the Full Year 2017. It is followed by Volkswagen (-5.5%), BMW (-7.9%) and Audi (+5.8%). Lamborghini (+90.6%), Alfa Romeo (+68.8%), Chevrolet (+54.8%), Peugeot (+32.5%) and Jeep (+31.5%) shine but Smart (-84.1%), DS (-50.7%), Aston Martin (-26.9%), Porsche (-26%) and Jaguar (-25.5%) are hit the hardest.

First Top 30 ranking for the Suzuki XBee.

For the first time on BSCB we can share with you coverage of the 50 best-selling regular cars (up from 30). For the first time for this generation, the Nissan Note manages two consecutive months in pole position among regular cars thanks to deliveries down just 7%, it is the 7th time this generation Note ranks at #1 at home, starting in November 2016. The Top 4 is unchanged on January with the Prius (-28%), Aqua (-2%) and Nissan Serena (-5%) in tow. At #6, the Honda Fit (+2%) is the only Top 10 nameplate to gain ground vs. February 2017, with the Toyota C-HR (-41%) posting the steepest decline.

The new Toyota JPN Taxi breaks into its home Top 50 this month.

The Nissan Leaf (+117%), Honda StepWGN (+72%) and Toyota Land Cruiser W (+63%) are the most dynamic in the Top 30. We welcome the cutesy Suzuki XBee inside the Japanese Top 30 for the very first time and for its 2nd month of sales in the country at #30 with just under 3.000 units sold this month. Among recent launches (<12 months), it distances the returning Honda Civic (#38), the Lexus LS500 (#43), Lexus LS500H (#45) and the all-new Toyota JPN Taxi landing at #50. The Honda N-BOX (+13%) continues to dominate the Kei car ranking ahead of the Nissan Dayz (-11%) – both nameplates outselling the Nissan Note – while the Suzuki Spacia (+25%) and Daihatsu Move (+19%) both overtake the Daihatsu Tanto (-15%) to rank #3 and #4 respectively. The Honda N-ONE (+56%), Mazda Flair Wagon (+47%), Suzuki Jimny (+43%), Daihatsu Mira (+38%) and Mitsubishi eK (+34%) also impress.

Previous month: Japan January 2018: Nissan Note #1, Mazda CX-8 and Nissan Leaf shine

One year ago: Japan February 2017: Toyota Prius leads, CH-R climbs onto podium

Full February 2018 Top 50 All-brands, Top 50 cars and Top 33 Kei cars below.

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