2015 Japanese market (Part 2): Suzuki and Honda expand market shares
Mini vehicles and hybrids account for over 60% of passenger car sales
In 2014, 4.7 million passenger cars were sold in Japan with a year-on-year (y/y) increase of 3.0%. The automotive industry analysts had originally predicted a large decline, but the result exceeded the previous year's sales, thanks to larger-than-expected last-minute demand before the tax hike and brisk mini-vehicle sales. By brand, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and Suzuki Motor Corporation greatly increased sales, which expanded respective market shares to 17.4% and 13.5%. Honda's compact sports utility vehicle (SUV), Vezel, and Suzuki's mini SUV, Hustler, contributed to the growth.
By model, Daihatsu Motor Co. Ltd.'s Tanto became the top seller with 234,000 units. The Tanto became the first mini-car to top the list in six years.
In regard to passenger car sales volume by engine displacement and fuel type, mini vehicles under 660cc accounted for 39.1% of the total sales, followed by 22.0% of the hybrid vehicles (HVs) including plug-in hybrids (PHVs). Mini vehicles and HVs combined thus accounted for over 60% of the total sales.
The number of registered vehicles in Japan has been catching up thanks to growing minicar ownership. At the end of September 2014, it was 75.37 million units including 20.76 million minicars.
2015 Japanese market (Part 1): outlook and vehicle tax revision (Feb. 2015)