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Japan April 2019: Toyota Prius back on top, RAV4 lands in market up 3.4%

The Toyota Prius is the best-selling car at home for the first time in over a year.

New car sales in Japan gain 3.4% year-on-year in April to 378.687, bringing the year-to-date tally to almost perfect immobility: up 53 units to 1.906.902. Like last month, the entire podium outpaces the market, with Toyota up 6.8% to 31.1% share vs. 28.5% so far this year and Suzuki (+4.2%) overtaking Honda (+6.5%) for the 2nd spot overall. Daihatsu (+2.3%) is also up at #4 but trails the market’s growth slightly. But it’s at the tail end of the Top 10 that we see the largest gains, delivered by Mitsubishi (+26.6%), Isuzu (+24.6%) and Subaru (+10.5%) whereas Mazda (-19.1%), Lexus (-9.9%) and Nissan (-5.5%) are in difficulty. There are no foreign brands in the Top 11, with Mercedes (+0.7%) the most popular at #12, distancing BMW (+16.6%), Volkswagen (-21.8%) and Audi (+50.2%) following very different paths. Further down, notice Bentley (+111.1%), McLaren (+68.4%), Dodge (+47.6%), Smart (+26.2%), Volvo (+20.3%), Fiat (+10.6%) and Jeep (+10.5%) all positing very satisfying gains.

The Toyota RAV4 is now on sale at home.

In the regular cars ranking, the Toyota Prius now fully enjoys the benefits of its facelift unveiled last December with sales up 31.9% year-on-year to return to the pole position for the first time since December 2017 and now just 1.231 sales below the Nissan Note (-5.5% this month) year-to-date. Toyota monopolises the podium with the Aqua (-18.2%) at #2 and the Vitz (+2.1%) at #3. The Toyota Corolla (+26.3%), now evergreen thanks to the new hatchback, posts the 2nd largest gain in the Top 10 with the Toyota Sienta (+14.7%) and Honda Freed (+13.7%) also scoring double-digit improvements. Further down, the Suzuki Jimny Sierra (+1061.8%), Subaru Forester (+133.8%), Mitsubishi Delica D5 (+114.2%), Toyota Crown (+91.5%), Camry (+44%), Alphard (+29.4%), Esquire (+17.9%) and Honda StepWGN (+17.3%) make themselves noticed while the new generation Toyota RAV4 makes its reappearance at home directly at #23. Once again it’s kei cars that command the largest volumes with the Honda N-BOX (-2.5%), Suzuki Spacia (+18.7%) and Daihatsu Tanto (+13.2%) all outselling the Toyota Prius for the month. The Suzuki Jimny (+227.4%), Mitsubishi eK (+56.6%) and Nissan Dayz (+25.1%) also shine.

Previous month: Japan March 2019: Suzuki (+3.7%), Volvo (+11.3%) stay afloat in market down 4%

One year ago: Japan April 2018: Toyota Aqua leads for first time in 6 months

Full April 2019 Top 55 brands, Top 50 regular cars and Top 33 kei cars below.

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